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The First Meeting of the NZSG

Written by Dr Bramwell Cook - Society Achivist

The New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology was born during a meeting of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians held in Auckland, 16–19 February 1966.

A meeting was held to form a gastroenterology group in association with the College. Those present included Drs A D Cameron, G I Nicholson, P J Scott, D Tomlinson, W D Troughton, C Tasman Jones [later Clifford Tasman-Jones] and Mrs R St C Lindop (Auckland), G D Kerr (Hamilton), R J M Coates (Gisborne), I G McPherson (Hastings), R A D Wigley (Palmerston North), B A Scobie (Wellington) and Dr W B Jackson (Nelson). Present also by invitation was the distinguished Australasian gastroenterologist and Censor-in-Chief of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Sir William Morrow. Apologies were received from Drs D J Gudex (Hamilton), E M McLachlan (Gisborne), P F Sheppard (Christchurch) and B P Maclaurin (Dunedin).

Dr Nicholson moved that Dr Cameron be appointed chairman of this meeting, and Dr Jones was appointed secretary. The record of this meeting, written by Dr Jones is as follows:

After some general discussion it was moved that a steering committee consisting of Dr Cameron, chairman, Dr Jones, secretary and Dr. Scobie should be appointed to bring forward definite proposals for a further meeting to be held in association with the September meeting of the College of Physicians in Wellington, the interim committee to have power to co-opt.

As a result of general discussion it was felt that the newly formed group should be based on the Royal College of Physicians but that it should include surgical members of the profession and other specialist groups in the profession such as radiologists and pathologists. It should also have provision for people interested in other veterinary or biological sciences who may have something to contribute to such a group. It was felt that the meetings should be in association with the College of Physicians meetings and that the composition of the group should be such that it would be principally controlled by physicians.

The possibility of a loose association with the Australian Gastroenterology Society or branch thereof was raised. It was pointed out that members would always be welcomed in the Gastroenterology Society of Australia and there was at least some feeling that the local group should probably be autonomous.

It was left to the steering committee to decide whether the September meeting should be purely business or should include papers.

Dr Cameron ended the business section with a brief review of the history of development of gastroenterology at Green Lane Hospital.

After this a series of scientific papers were presented.

  1. The first paper was presented by Dr. Gordon Nicholson and was entitled “The Metascopic Appearances of the Small Bowel”. This was a beautifully illustrated lecture showing the value of post mortem in furthering our understanding of small bowel villous structure.
  2. Dr C Tasman Jones presented a paper on disaccharidase deficiencies. The histories of four patients who appeared to have a primary lactase deficiency with a fifth patient who had a primary sucrose deficiency were presented.
  3. Dr W D Troughton presented a paper on amino acid absorption. He briefly reviewed the problems of perfusion amino acid studies as undertaken while he has been a Research Fellow at Green Lane Hospital. He was able to clearly illustrate some of the difficulties and the encouragements from such perfusion studies.
Afternoon tea was served through the courtesy of Green Lane Hospital by Mrs Rosemary Lindop.

  1. Dr. Brian Scobie presented a paper on gastric function following gastric surgery. This paper illustrated the value of the augmented histamine test in solving post-gastrectomy problems.
  2. After the scientific meeting people were taken on a short tour to see the Gastroenterology Clinic equipment at Green Lane and also to see a demonstration of dissection photomicrography.
Dr Alan Donaldson Cameron became the Foundation President of the New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology.

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