The Dentist Magazine.

50th anniversary graduation reunion

Published: 06/07/2017

The class of 1966/67 from King’s College Hospital Dental School reunited at Horsted Place Hotel, Sussex, in May, rekindling old friendships, remembering lost and absent friends and celebrating 50 years of diverse careers within dentistry and without.

A brochure, published to commemorate the event, was sponsored by Henry Schein and Linda Wolffe, organiser of the reunion, comments in its opening pages that she hopes it will serve to enlighten young dentists and those considering dentistry as a career of the rewards of working in the dental industry. The brochure includes biographies for the class of 1966/67, detailing their careers and lives over the 50 years since graduation, providing a vivid snapshot of both the variations and the constants in the field over half a century.

Fourteen classmates attended, accompanied by their partners, making 28 in total for a weekend set in the stunning Sussex countryside. A small number arrived on Tuesday, May 9 and enjoyed a visit to Michelham Priory and golfing on the East Sussex National Courses before being joined by the rest of the party at 4pm on Wednesday, May 10, for cream tea in the drawing room of the hotel.

With exclusive use of the hotel for the duration of the reunion, the group were able to reminisce and catch-up whilst walking in the beautiful grounds, admiring the azaleas and rhododendrons and playing croquet on the lawn. Bringing Wednesday to a close, dinner was followed by the showing of an amateur film – made by Dr E Rosenstiel – which featured many King’s teachers and demonstrators from their time at the college as well as the construction of the new dental school and the topping-out ceremony by Professor Ralph Cocker.

Thursday included a trip to Sheffield Park station, part of the Bluebell Railway steam heritage line, and lunch on-board one of the locomotives whilst travelling to East Grinstead station. Two members of the group, who had travelled from New Zealand to attend the reunion, had fireman licences and were therefore able to join the fireman on the footplate for the journey. After watching the engine run around for the return journey, the group enjoyed the trip back and, subsequently, exploring the museum and engine shed at Sheffield Park which highlights the development of the railway and houses original engines and tracks.

After a rocky start involving a power cut due to lightning strike, the evening’s drinks reception and three-course meal got underway. The group presented Linda and John Wolffe with champagne and a voucher for afternoon tea at the Ritz as tokens of their appreciation for organising the event. Later, petit fours and dancing to records and live music in the drawing room brought the evening to a close.

Friday saw the group parting company; as well as those who travelled from New Zealand, members had also come from France and Hong Kong to attend this milestone event. The next reunion is planned to take place in five years or less.