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South African Dental Journal

versão On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versão impressa ISSN 0011-8516

S. Afr. dent. j. vol.69 no.9 Johannesburg Out. 2014

 

OBITUARIES

 

David Anderson: 18 October 1946 - 22 September 2014

 

 

 

I first met David Anderson at Dental School at Wits in the early 1970's when he was specialising in Oral Medicine and Periodontics. As an undergraduate student, I was under his supervision and was somewhat intimidated at our first clinical session by his reputation of being strict with a no-nonsense attitude. He did indeed display these traits, but also demonstrated fairness and a wry sense of humour which belied his stern outer image. In fact, his frankness and forthright manner, which characterised his whole life, became to me admirable features of his ethos.

David was a good clinician with a special interest in Oral Medicine and I found his handling of the patients I referred to him to be meticulous. Despite having the most atrocious handwriting, he always kept dentists who sought his assistance up to date with written reports as to how their patients were progressing. He always directed patients back to the referring general dentist once he had completed his treatment. To me, he symbolised true professionalism towards patient and colleague alike.

David cared for our profession and was interested in improving the lot of all dentists. He became involved in the Dental Association of South Africa and its successor, the South African Dental Association, where our paths crossed on another level. David represented dentists at branch level and later nationally and earned both the Bronze and Silver Medals of DASA for meritorious service to Dentistry. His knowledge and often unique perspectives on pressing matters saw him rise to the Executive Committee of SADA, on which he served admirably for many years.

Recognising a further opportunity to serve his profession, David stood for and was elected to the Board of the Professional Provident Society in the early 1990's and with his forthright approach, soon rose to Chairperson. I was fortunate to join him on the Board some eight years later, where I soon realised what a dedicated Chairperson he was. When PPS restructured by splitting into a Holding Company (now the PPS Holdings Trust) and the PPS Insurance Company, David was elected as Chairperson of the Insurance Company where he served with distinction until his untimely death. The Financial Services Board was rather concerned that a multi-billion rand organisation was chaired by a dentist,... until they interviewed David. His knowledge of the company and its structures and his passion for ensuring that members received a fair deal soon won them over.

David was born in Durban on 18th October 1946 and married Turid, an oral hygienist. They spent 40 years together and were blessed with four children and six grandchildren. David and Turid shared a passion for the bush and the creatures that inhabited it. They loved the Drakensberg mountains where they often holidayed at the Cavern. Sheffield beach in KZN was their preferred coastal resort. David was a great walker and often retreated to their farm near Dullstroom where he enjoyed trout fishing and rambling. He had a passion for and understood cars. He rebuilt and continued to care for his trusty old Land-Rover, which stood proudly at his memorial service, held at the Johannesburg Country Club, looking out over the large open spaces he loved so dearly. It was fitting that the day was overcast as it mirrored the sadness in everyone's hearts.

David recently underwent successful abdominal surgery but most sadly suffered a stroke which took his life on the 22nd September.

Neil Campbell

This Journal grieves for the loss of David, a fine contributor in his own right but also a meticulous referee on whom we could place our unreserved trust. When he accepted the responsibility of reviewing a paper, we knew with every confidence that the author would receive a considered, well presented critique, together with sound suggestions and recommendations which invariably resulted in a considerable improvement in the paper. We never knew David to make a suggestion without at the same time offering to assist in the implementation.

A pleasure to work with, a trusted and deeply respected colleague.. and a constant friend.

Bill and Edith.