30 May 2022 (Last updated: 30 May 2022 16:25)
The BSSH has a wealth of material stored at the BSSH offices at the Royal College of Surgeons including many items of interest from the early days of the society. We are committed to making them visible to the wider membership and accessible on the website.
IFFSH 1966-2022 Boston 1983-London 2022
With the IFFSH-IFSHT-FESSH Combined Congress in London fast approaching, it is timely to share one of the many relevant items within the BSSH Archive ;a programme from the second IFFSH Conference in Boston USA in 1983. As you can see, from the signature on the front page, this was donated to the BSSH by Graham Stack, one of the founder members of our Society.
The International Federation of Societies for Surgery for the Hand (IFFSH) was founded in 1966 and now has 61 Member Societies. Its purpose is to co-ordinate the activities of the various societies for Surgery of the Hand throughout the world, and henceforth to increase and spread knowledge of hand surgery. Underlying that purpose are 11 objectives that can be found on the IFFSH website.
The first international conference took place in Rotterdam in 1980, and further conferences have since been held every three years, London being the 15th in the series. The Boston Meeting had an excellent programme and notably had many greats of hand surgery in attendance. Below are a few pages from the programme to give a taster. The BSSH was well represented, with Harold Bolton, Douglas Lamb, Guy Pulvertaft and John Varian present as Session Chairmen in addition to Graham Stack, with further contributions from Nicholas Barton and Gus McGrouther.
Graham Stack 1915 - 1992
It is worth reflecting upon the contribution of Graham Stack to the BSSH and hand surgery in general. He was a founding member of the Second Hand Club from which the BSSH evolved, he also served the Society as Secretary and Treasurer, and served as President in 1973. He was always internationally looking and was made President of IFFSH in 1978 and then elected as an IFFSH Pioneer in Hand Surgery in 1986. It is worth sharing some quotes from the address by Robert Robins at the service for thanksgiving for the work and life of Graham Stack on 4 November 1992:
“He built the framework in which hand surgery in Britain could develop and he provided the means for the dissemination of knowledge through the written word which alone has kept this country in the forefront of the speciality. Without Graham there would still be a British Society for Surgery of the Hand, albeit different, but there would be no Journal and like the economy, the Society would probably be jogging along in the slow lane”.
The address ends with the following quote: “Today hand surgery in Britain has many branches which flourish as never before. Do not forget that Graham Stack was one of its deepest roots”.
These sentiments are still relevant and appropriate today.
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