Notes from Homecoming


The Medicine Class of 1967 met their fundraising goal of $1 million in lifetime giving just in time for their 50th reunion. (Photo: ManLi Que)

Scroll below for a photo montage of images from Homecoming events across the Faculty of Medicine’s schools and programs.

It was the award-winning Medicine Class of 1967 who hosted the first Faculty of Medicine activity at Homecoming Weekend in mid-October, an architectural tour of Montreal featuring McGill-trained architects.

“The architectural tour was phenomenal,” says Harvey Weinstein, MDCM’67, (“Not that Harvey Weinstein!”), Senior Research Fellow, Clinical Professor (Ret.) at UC Berkeley Human Rights Center, and past recipient, Medicine Alumni Global Community Service Award.

“I had read about it in the alumni magazine a few years ago,” says Donald Williams, MDCM’67, one of many from his class, including Irene Smyth, BSc, MDCM’67, and John Amiss, MDCM’67, in from British Columbia for this, their 50th reunion.

The Ingram School of Nursing (ISoN) invites alumni to discover its new offices at 680 Sherbrooke St. West. Pictured: Elaine Shea, BScN’77, Melanie Cleland, BScN’77, Wendy Begg, BScN’77, and Anastasia Karafoti Mylonas, BScN’77. (Photo: ISoN)

“This is my first Homecoming,“ says Amiss, who was accompanied by his brother Bob from Calgary. “My wife encouraged me to come.”

Where was the place to hang out in 1967? “The Berkeley,” says Amiss, citing the now-defunct hotel. “And the Cock & Bull.”

Smyth, who like Amiss, now lives in Victoria, explains that, as a scholarship student, she lived in perpetual fear of losing her funding. “If I didn’t work very hard, I would have to go back to Saskatchewan.”

A participant in what was known as the seven-year program, Smyth’s journey towards an MDCM actually began in 1960. “The first thing that I ever dissected was a human,” she remembers.

Alumna Marilyn Avrith, DIP P&OT’52, with granddaughter—and current student!—Arlene Rosenberg, at the School of Physical & Occupational Therapy (SPOT) Wine & Cheese. (Photo: SPOT)

Smyth, whose son is also an MDCM, was so engrossed in her studies, much of it, like embryology an “astounding” discovery to someone coming from a religious background, that she failed to notice the Beatles Invasion taking over North America. She remembers: One day, I heard one of their songs, and I asked one of my classmates who it was. They said, where have you been?

Of her professors, Smyth says, “I think we felt we walked in the steps of giants.” She mentions Stanley Martin Banfill, MDCM’33, Dr. Jan Langman and Dr. C.P. Leblond, as well as Dr. Martin Hoffman. “He was a professor of internal medicine and did endocrinology. He was the most brilliant clinician I ever met. He had never taken his specialist exams, but he was the physician I remember I most wanted to be like when I grew up.”

For Bonny MacFarlane, BSc, MDCM’72, in from Austin, Texas, one of the most memorable faculty members was Dr. Robert A. H. Kinch, then a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “He was very personable. I remember him teaching me how to deliver babies with forceps one on one,” she says at the Dean’s Welcome Breakfast on Friday, October 13.

Did MacFarlane go on to follow in her mentor’s footsteps? “I went by the back door into family practice,” she says.

MacFarlane also remembers her part-time job at the Jewish General Hospital. “We worked one night a week. We were on call for taking blood and starting IVs. And we did the lab tests.”

She adds: “They had a quota of 10% women. There were only 13 of us in our class. We had to have higher marks!”

Dale Jarka, BSc, MDCM’83, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, says, “I’m an off year!” She jokes that her husband, Brian Wicklund, MDCM’82, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist, dragged her “kicking and screaming” from Canada to Kansas City, Missouri. “Even though I’m from Montreal, I didn’t even begin to enjoy poutine until lately.” Now, when she is back in town, she takes advantage to visit one of her favourite Montreal restaurants, La Banquise, a popular destination for many returning alumni.

Later in the day, at the House Call: Raise a Glass with the Dean cocktail party, Julie Lin, MDCM’02, a dermatologist at the University of Vermont, sums up part of the appeal of Homecoming. “I’m nostalgic for the city and for the camaraderie with my classmates.”

Homecoming Celebration Weekend 2018: October 11–13. Save the date and stay tuned for more information.

As per tradition, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health welcomes alumni back to Purvis Hall for a cocktail party—an opportunity to meet with old friends and learn about the future of the Department, notably, the new School of Population and Global Health. (Photo: Nicolas Morin)

“We went to Dawson College together,” share Tanya Diabo, BNI’13, and Leah Kimata, BNI’14, at an ISoN Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) activity on Saturday, October 14: Indigenous Health and Implications of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Nursing. “I work at the Kateri Memorial in Kahnawake. I’m the Diabetes Educator there,” says Diabo. (Photo: Anne Chudobiak)

“They told us our patients would eventually tell us what was wrong with them,” remembers Bonny MacFarlane, BSc, MDCM’72, at the Dean’s Welcome Breakfast.

“Having the opportunity to practice surgical skills here is a huge advantage for the students,” says Patrica Howson, BSc, MDCM’77, MSc’84, an orthopedic surgeon from San Francisco who was impressed with how lifelike the manikins are at McGill’s recently expanded Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning. (Photo: Diane Weidner)

“I think it’s great that the students have a chance to practice and train as a team during simulation exercises,” says Barbara Robertson, MDCM’77, a retired anesthesiologist from Vancouver. “Teamwork is so important.” (Photo: Diane Weidner)

Kanwar Anit Singh Saini, MSc(A)’11, receives a Medicine Alumni Global Alumni Award of Merit from V-P Dean David Eidelman, MDCM’79, in recognition of his extensive volunteer work in Toronto with Syrian and LGBTQ+-led families. With Marc Pell, MSc’93, PhD’97, Associate Dean and Director of the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. (Photo: Owen Egan)

Some members of the Medicine Class of 1992 in the Old Port for their class reunion dinner, after a day of exciting activities, including a walk on Mount Royal culminating in a visit to popular dessert place, Juliette et Chocolat.

“You’re 87? I’m 87!” Benjamin Potter, MDCM’57, and Ralph Cooke, MDCM’57, at a tour of the new Glen site, one of many offered over Homecoming Weekend. (Photo: Anne Chudobiak)






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