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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.98 n.1 Cape Town Jan. 2008




Sam Wayburne



I was saddened to hear that my mentor, teacher and a most wonderful and caring human being, Professor Sam Wayburne has passed on. He was Professor of Paediatrics at Baragwanath Hospital.

I was an intern in his department in 1968. When I applied to be a registrar, the TPA informed me that only whites could be given that post. But Professor Wayburne said to me, 'I am Jewish and I know what racial discrimination is. I will fight for you.' He went to Pretoria and convinced the TPA Head Office to grant me the post. And so I became the first non-white registrar in the Department of Paediatrics. Under his leadership the department was like one family.

At tea time my senior Avroy Fanaroff, Bernie Kaplan, Dave Sapire and our own Professor Peter Thompson would take me to the 'Whites Only' tea room, where professor Wayburne would give me a smile of welcome. All four of these 'giants of paediatrics' were Professor Wayburne's special contribution to North America and the paediatric world.

Professor Wayburne's special interest was newborns, and he would spent many long hours in the nursery speaking kindly to each mother, whom he always addressed as 'mama'.

He was the first to congratulate me when I obtained the Fellowship in Paediatrics. During my orals for the Membership in Edinburgh my examiners asked me where I had come from. When I said, 'Johannesburg', they asked 'How is Sam Wayburne?' I will never forget the warmth with which he greeted me when I retuned with the Edinburgh Membership.

May God bless you, Professor Wayburne, you served His creation with love, kindness and dedication.

Goolam M Moosa

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