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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

versão On-line ISSN 2078-5135
versão impressa ISSN 0256-9574

SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.98 no.3 Cape Town Mar. 2008




Hans (Johannes Jacobus) Loock (4/11/1930 -17/9/2007)



James Loock; Diane Nel (Loock)




Our father, Hans Loock, was born an only child on a remote farm in the Willowmore district. His father sent him, at the age of 12, to Muir College, Uitenhage, to learn English, where in his teens he met our mother, Val Burger.

They excelled at school, and came together to study at Groóte Schuur Hospital. He was a born doctor, thanks, particularly, to a very lucid and logical mind, exceptional practical skills and dexterity which made him a natural surgeon, and a meticulous and caring personality. Jannie Louw wanted him to become a surgeon, but he belonged in his beloved Karoo.

It seems trite to enumerate his achievements: suffice to say that he practised his profession in the spirit of dedicated general practitioners of the old school; that he regarded the practice of medicine as a privilege; and that he was adored and respected by the Graaff-Reinet community he and our mother chose to serve for 45 years.

To our dismay, Dad contracted adenocarcinoma of the lung and died held fast, as in his whole life, by the woman with whom he shared complete devotion, Val.

We were inundated with calls and letters from patients wanting to express what he had meant to them, of which this poem by one of his patients, Dr Oscar Prozesky, is an example.

Hans Loock

He has not died
He has merely gone
From this world To the next,
Walking calmly
From one room
To another.

There is no death
For those who love
And serve.
Their memory,
A fragrance,
On the living air,
Their voices speak
In the inmost ear
Of those they loved,
Of those,
Who loved them.

And so with Dr Hans.
'Yes, bey,' and
'No, butgoed,'
I hear him saying
To a boy, his patient,
Forty years ago.
I hear him still.

I see him in his surgery,
Surrounded by the
The tools of his
Unwearied and
God-given trade.
I see and hear,
And once again
I am a boy
And halfway healed
And comforted.

In a heart-sacred
And undying place
I see his face
His clever, wise,
And kind,
Compassionate eyes.


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