05 August 2002
Urologist had 73-year relationship with UCT

Dr Isaac (Jake) Jacobson, who had an active 73-year long association with UCT as a student and then as a part-time lecturer, died in Cape Town last month. He was 90 years old. Professor Johan Naudé of the Division of Urology penned this tribute.

"Jacobson was educated at SACS an graduated MBChB from UCT in 1935. He trained as a surgeon in the United Kingdom but as intervened, it took another 12 years before he qualified as a urologist. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) for six years and was taken prisoner of war in France, before Dunkirk. He worked in hospitals in France and Germany, looking after fellow POWs, until, being Jewish, Hitler disqualified him from the practice of medicine. After three and a half years he was repatriated to the UK where he served until demobilisation in 1945.

"Admitted to Fellowship of both the English and Edinburgh Colleges of Surgeons, he worked under the great Terence Millin as a registrar. He returned to Cape Town in 1948 where he introduced the Millin's prostatectomy and total cystectomy to South Africa. He joined the staff of Groote Schuur Hospital as part-time specialist urologist and UCT as a part-time lecturer.

"Jacobson was a founder member of the uro-oncology combined clinic, on which he served until the time of his death. He did much to advance stoma therapy in Cape Town. He was head of one of the two firms in the Department of Urology at GSH for many years, including the time when I was his registrar. In 1988 he did us the honour of accepting honorary membership of the Urological Association of South Africa, in recognition of his contribution to South African urology. It was my privilege to read his citation.

"He was a stickler for form. Things had to be done in only one way and that was the proper way. In the British tradition, his registrars called him Mr Jacobson and, to this day, I have never called him anything else. On July 8, just two days before his death, he phoned my office to apologise for not attending the combined clinic the next day as he had suffered a heart attack. A gentleman to the very last!

"His 54 years of uninterrupted service to GSH and UCT must be an all-time record. His 73-year relationship with UCT must be very hard to beat. He was a cultured gentleman with an excellent knowledge of literature and music. He loved playing the violin. His students and trainees count themselves fortunate to have learnt from him. His wife, Joan, daughters Carolyn, Linda and Mandy and their husbands, as well as his six grandchildren and one great-grandchild will sorely miss him."

UCT drama student tragically killed

Monday Paper sadly reports the recent death of Steve Waite, who was killed in a car accident last month. Waite registered at UCT in 1999 and at the time of his death was reading for a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Performance. Drama student Nancy Rush wrote this obituary for Waite.

"We all want to shout from the rooftops, the story of King Steve, but constantly find there are too few words in which to paint the masterpiece of who and what he was. A 27-year old drama student, Steve Waite was tragically taken from us in the early hours of June 16 as a car, reportedly stolen, collided head-on into him.

"Steve was nearing the end of his honours degree at UCT Drama School and he had just received a Vita nomination for best newcomer after his magical (to say the least) performance in Maynardville's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

"His absence at drama school is unspeakable, he leaves a gap that will never be filled, and yet his magic is all around us. His life and the way he lived it is an inspiration to all.

"Steve was an extremely talented young man and his dedication to life was absolute. When he spoke, his voice filled the entire space. When he danced, he moved with strength, skill and grace. His presence on stage, in the classroom and in his life was radiant.

"One of the most incredible things about him was that he had the greatest kind of love for his family and friends. There are just so many stories to tell about Steve Waite.

May you dance in our hearts always,
Peace be your journey Fairy King."

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