Biennial meeting 2015

The Biennial meeting of SOMANDA took place on Friday April 17th 2015. The morning format followed our usual style. Professor Paul Coulthard, Head of School, gave an update on developments in education and the exciting investments in both basic science and clinical research which continue to grow in strength at Manchester. Later there was ample opportunity, supported by undergraduate volunteers, to visit the dental school and hospital. The Alumni were given a rare chance to revisit old memories and see how the school is moving with the times.

There was a challenging spotter with some unusual items, it has to be said, of fairly ancient dental equipment to be identified (or not in my case)! Mr Trenouth is to be congratulated as he won the prize for most items identified. The spotter certainly generated lively discussion.

The afternoon session comprised our formal AGM followed by the FC Wilkinson Commemorative Lecture. Our speaker this time round was Mike Cassidy, Consultant in Restorative Dentistry. Mike is based in Jersey, where he has both NHS hospital posts and a private practice. Mike gave two entertaining and informative presentations. The first lecture revisited the endodontic versus implant discussion and reviewed the evidence base for selection of endodontic treatments. After tea we were treated to a presentation entitled “Pink and White aesthetics in Restorative Practice” and we quickly got to grips with “party gums” technique. The presentations generated lively discussion.

The SOMANDA Biennial meeting had a new venue for the social gathering this year. Some 86 alumni and partners had an enjoyable evening at the city centre Hilton Hotel. The spacious room set aside for the pre-dinner reception allowed for plenty of catch up time and the elegant dining room was a great setting. The food was lovely although the cheese course proved a challenge for some with small appetites. The evening is a lovely excuse to put on glad rags and enjoy meeting up with friends and colleagues.

As ever, formalities were kept to a minimum, short speeches and prizes for those who had made the effort to travel. We had alumni from Canada, Portugal and even darkest Yorkshire. The excellent menu made for some great conversation and it is reported some Alumni and indeed our speaker saw in the early hours of Saturday morning. The Hilton provided great accommodation for those who decided to make a night of it and stop over.

We would like to hear from Alumni who attended the day of suggestions for future events. If you have a burning topic which you would wish to be presented, do let the committee know.

Also it has been suggested, by those with excess energy and unbounded stamina, that we might extend the social event with some musical entertainment. . The next meeting will be in 2017, so can I ask you to think ahead, contact your long lost tutorial group and plan to attend as a group.

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