On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.101 n.9 Cape Town Sep. 2011
William Sinclair Winship (18/03/1927 - 14/07/2011)
Bill Winship contributed to the health and welfare of children in KwaZulu-Natal for almost 50 years. Born and educated in Edinburgh, he moved to Cape Town in 1946. He graduated MB ChB (UCT) in 1953, and trained as a paediatrician in Durban. In 1964, he was awarded a CSIR Fellowship to study paediatric cardiology in Cape Town. Returning to Durban, he established the paediatric cardiology service in KwaZulu-Natal. In 1971, he was appointed Principal Paediatrician at Addington Hospital.
He was drawn to research, publishing more than 50 articles. His most recent publication was in the South African Medical Journal.1 When telling me about this, he quipped that it was nice to be productive at his age. His Handbook of Genetic and Congenital Syndromes was written specifically to provide a resource to health professionals in South Africa.
Beyond his clinical appointments, he was honorary medical specialist of the Board of Durban Child Welfare, where he chaired both the Advisory Committee for the Management of Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Adoption Committee, for two decades. He was respected internationally as the South African member for the Association of European Paediatric cardiologists.
He believed in the nexus of education and health, and was the inaugural chairman for TREE (training and resources for early education), which is now the largest organisation of its kind in South Africa.
The last chapter of his career was in genetics. Bill was an advocate for children with genetic disorders and was a founder member of SAIDA. He was also a founder member of the South African Society for Human Genetics, which honoured him in 2004 with the endowment of the Bill Winship SASHG Gold Medal for an outstanding trainee in clinical genetics.
Bill received many honours, including the Excellence in Service Award in 2000 and the College of Paediatrics Award in 2007. In April 2011, he received the Order of the Baobab in Silver.
Bill was married to Sonja for 55 years, had 4 children and 7 grandchildren. He spent his retirement playing lawn bowls and gardening, attracting more than 60 species of birds to his garden in Hillcrest.
He died peacefully on 14 July after a short illness. He is remembered as a warm and caring man who worked tirelessly for the children of KwaZulu-Natal. I am privileged not only to have worked with and learned from him, but to have had him as my father.
Ingrid Margaret Winship
1. Winship WS, Beighton P. Genetic disorders in the Indian community of South Africa. S Afr Med J 2011;101:481-484. [ Links ]