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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.111 no.9 Pretoria Set. 2021




Dr Piet Gonin




Pieter Gonin was born in Pretoria on 8 October 1945. He matriculated in 1963, and completed one year's military service in 1964. He qualified MB ChB from the University of Pretoria in 1970, and did his internship at the then H F Verwoerd Hospital in 1971. After a short stint at the Philidelphia Mission Hospital in Dennilton, he specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology, graduating MMed (O&G) cum laude in 1976, and also FCOG (SA) in the same year. In 1977 he was appointed as a specialist at H F Verwoerd Hospital, and in 1978 as a consultant at Universitas Hospital, Bloemfontein. His expertise in gynaecological endocrinology was highly rated at the time. He moved back to Pretoria in March 1979, commencing private practice in partnership with Dr George Stegman. He eventually ventured into solo practice in April 1981, which he kept up for the next 25 years. During this time he also held a specialist appointment at the H F Verwoerd Academic Hospital complex, thus contributing to both under-and postgraduate training. After retiring from private practice at the end of 2005, he took up a temporary consultant appointment at Jubilee Hospital in Hammanskraal. This was a 'plough-back' exercise which sadly only lasted for about two years, cut short by unbearable working conditions.

During his years in private practice Piet established and also chaired the 'Group 13' academic meetings. Once a month private gynaecologists presented problem cases to the group for clinical opinion and academic discussion. This was a vibrant and very helpful intercolleagual endeavour, which often extended convivially way beyond ordinary clinical boundaries. Piet was of a very sincere and honest 'old-school' nature. His integrity and healthy common sense guided most of his decisions. He had an unobtrusive passion for several hobbies, including travelling to and exploring remote places, philately, Blue Bull rugby, and photography. In his latter years he developed a special interest in macro-photography of small insects. He managed to maintain his somewhat caustic, naughty sense of humour up to the end.

In my opinion Piet was of superior intellectual capacity, with a refreshing insight into the vast array of ecological miracles around us. He succumbed to the COVID-19 scourge on 5 April 2021, fighting his last battle with courage and dignity. Our condolences go to his wife Susan, who still lives in the cosy family home, 'Pa-Ma-en-Ons', in Glentana, and to their three children, Henri, Barry and Jacqueline.

John Zaaijman, colleague and friend

Boggomsbaai, Western Cape, South Africa

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