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South African Dental Journal

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

S. Afr. dent. j. vol.71 no.7 Johannesburg Ago. 2016




Ronald George Melville 21 January 1932 - 15 June 2016



Having suffered from a heart condition for some time, Ronnie Melville passed away peacefully on 15 June 2016 at his home in Alphenvale, Constantia.

Ronnie was born at Olifantshoek, Northern Cape, on 21 January 1932. He was educated at Kimberley Boys High, where he was a prefect, and also played 1st team rugby. He enrolled in the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1949, and was awarded the Degree BDS in 1953. His post-graduate orthodontic training was undertaken at the Eastman Dental School in London. On his return to South Africa, Ronnie acted as a locum in the practice of the late Dr Barnet Braude, where he met his future wife Rene and her daughter Melodie. Ron and Rene got married in 1961, and moved down to Cape Town, where Ronnie took over the practice of Maurice Berman.



Ronnie was a Foundation Member of the South African Society of Orthodontists, attending its Inaugural Meeting in September 1964. During the first few years of its existence, the Executive Committee of SASO always resided either in Johannesburg or Pretoria. When it was first moved down to Cape Town, Ronnie was elected President, a post he filled with great distinction.

In 1970, Ronnie and Dr B Joffe were approached by the late Professor J van der Sandt de Villiers (at that time Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Stellenbosch) with a view to becoming part-time Lecturers at the University, in order to train three new Orthodontists. Both agreed, and in 1974 three Orthodontists duly graduated. Ronnie and Dr Joffe continued in this role for many years, and some of their graduates attained great distinction overseas.

Ronnie was an outstanding Clinician, conducting a Private Practice for over 40 years. The lovely smiles of many Capetonians can be traced back to "braces from Dr Melville". He was also a Foundation Member of an informal Study Group, aiming to promote a high standard of orthodontics in the Western Cape.

Ron and Rene lived life to the fullest. They collected antiques, and also loved travelling. He attended many Congresses and post-graduate Courses overseas. He was a faithful and caring husband to Rene, and felt devastated by her death in 2009. Among his hobbies was an interest in cooking, and he attended several culinary courses, both overseas and in South Africa. He kept fit with a morning exercise routine, which was eventually curtailed by hip problems. He also served as a Trustee in Alphenvale, where he spent his last few years. He enjoyed rugby, and was especially proud of his grandson, who was appointed coach of a "Super 12" Australian team.

Ron was a devoted family man. He leaves his daughter Melodie, son-in-law Tiger, four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

The death of Dr Ron Melville constitutes a huge loss for the Dental Profession in general, and the Orthodontic Speciality in particular. Sincere condolences are extended to his family and friends.

Dr John Eloff