South Africa

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the foreign visit of the Travelling Surgical Society was the furthest yet undertaken. This visit to South Africa was a joint meeting with the Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Physicians thereof, and the College of Medicine of South Africa. The academic sessions were held in the Postgraduate Centre of the Groote Schuur Hospital in Capetown.

The Society’s journey there took in the Victoria Falls (with its interminable passenger processing on arrival), Port Elizabeth, the Garden Route, George, and the Karoo. Our accommodation in Capetown was in the Vineyard Hotel, the first colonial house in South Africa, located in Constantia at the foot of Table Mountain. The scientific programme included sports medicine and physiology, as well as conventional medical and surgical issues. However, our final day in Johannesburg confirmed the over-riding impression of our visit which was of a beautiful country undergoing economic disintegration, riven by AIDS and undermined by middle-class emigration.