Edinburgh & East of Scotland Society of Anaesthetists

EESSA Past Presidents

1945-47 F G Gibbs
1948 G Maxwell Brown
1949 D S Middleton
1950-51 Sheina Watters
1952-53 J Gillies
1954-55 Alison Ritchie
1956-57 A M Millar
1958-59 L G Morrison
1960 H W C Griffiths
1961-62 J Straton
1962-63 F Holmes
1963-64 D W Shannon
1964-65 C T Barry
1965-66 G R Kyles
1966-67 G M Lawson
1967-68 J D Robertson
1968-69 A S Brown
1969-70 A S Crawford
1970-71 A C Milne
1971-73 K Dodd
1973-75 D B Scott
1975-77 Constance M Howie
1977-79 R Burtles
1979-80 W R MacRae
1980-81 D Grubb
1981-83 L V H Martin
1983-84 I A Davidson
1984-85 A H B Masson
1985-87 J Wilson
1987-89 K B Slawson
1989-90 R A Bowie
1990-91 I T Davie
1991-93 Sally Edwards
1993-94 Eve Pitt
1994-95 Ann Whitfield
1995-96 C M Small
1996-97 N Malcolm Smith
1997-98 A S Buchan
1998-99 J Jenkinson
1999-00 N H Gordon
2000-01 G L M Carmichael
2001-02 G B Drummond
2002-03 D J Wright
2003-04 J H McClure
2004-05 D H T Scott
2005-06 G H Sharwood-Smith
2006-07 Glenys Jones
2007-08 D McKeown
2008-09 C Sinclair
2009-10 G Bowler
2010-11 A G McKenzie
2011-13 R P Alston
2013 I Armstrong
2014-15 D Henderson
2015-16 S Midgley

The history of the Edinburgh & East of Scotland Society of Anaesthetists

Dr A G McKenzie

The Society began on 27th June 1945 at a meeting in the Board Room of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh – called to discuss the formation of a Society of Anaesthetists in Edinburgh. It was attended by fourteen practising anaesthetists: Drs Gibbs, Gillies, Fraser, Duff, McKinlay, Gordon, Maxwell Brown, Goldsmith, Watters, Lennox Brown, Ritchie, Dummer, Smith and Millar. The proposal was unanimously endorsed and a committee of five was formed to draw-up a draft Constitution.

The first AGM was held in the Board Room, RIE on 1st October 1945 when the following points were all agreed:

The first Office-bearers were:

Regular meetings were held in every session and from 1946, there was an annual invited speaker. Reading the minutes provides a fascinating list of these eminent speakers from the UK and Europe. For the first three years meetings were held in the BMA Rooms at Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh; thereafter the usual venue was the Main Hall of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSE). In 1949 there was a joint meeting with the Glasgow and West of Scotland Society of Anaesthetists (GWSSA). These joint meetings continued annually in October, the venue alternating between the two cities. By 1950 there were 33 Members and 3 Honorary Members. In June 1952 the constitution was amended to enable admission of Associate Members. From 1956 there was usually an annual evening devoted to Members’ short papers, including Registrars. In the 1950s and 1960s meetings were well attended by anaesthetists from Dundee. At the AGM of 26th April 1966 it was resolved, because of the spread of activities of the Society outwith Edinburgh, to change the name to the Edinburgh & East of Scotland Society of Anaesthetists (EESSA). By 1970 the Society had 41 Members, 25 Associate Members and 12 Honorary Members.

In 1977 Dr Connie Howie instigated moves to acquire a Presidential Chain of Office. There was unanimous approval of a design incorporating Edinburgh Castle and rock, a staff of Aesculapius with serpent, opium poppy and deadly nightshade. Purchase was completed in 1978. Neck-ties and headscarves for ladies with the Society logo were designed and procured in 1985. An “Associate Member’s Prize” of cash for the best paper by a Registrar was made available from 1986 onwards. By 1990 the Society had 75 (full) Members, 56 Associate Members and 14 Senior Members. Through the 1970s to 1996 the Society meetings continued to be held in the Main Hall, RCSE.

In 1991 the J.D. Robertson Memorial Fund was set up in honour of Prof Robertson, a Past President of the Society, who had died in 1989. The first biennial J.D. Robertson Memorial Lecture was delivered in Edinburgh on 30 October 1992 at a combined meeting of EESSA with the GWSSA. The speaker was Sir Gordon Robson, who was presented with an engraved quaich – the start of a tradition. At that time EESSA members included the President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (Prof A.A. Spence) and the President of the AAGBI (Dr W. MacRae).

In October 2000 the Constitution was revised. Also, following the untimely death of the immediate Past President Dr Nick Gordon, a memorial fund was established to provide in his honour a medal for the best Associate Member’s presentation at the annual Members Night. The Society achieved Charitable Status in January 2001. The first renamed “Associate Member’s Prize and Nick Gordon Medal” was awarded at “Members Night” on 6 March 2001. By this time the membership of the Society had risen to 212. The venue for most meetings from 1997 to 2006 was the Symposium Hall, RCSE.

From 2006 to 2010 meetings were usually held at The Lister Institute. In 2010 the Society deregistered as a Charity as this conferred much extra work for the Hon Treasurer with no tax advantage. Since that year most of the Society’s meetings have been held at the Bruntsfield Hotel.