Light Minutes of the 10th Symposium held at the Royal Danish School of Pharmacy in Copenhagen from Monday 29th July to Friday 2nd August, 1974
The meeting opened with a reception at the Copenhagen City Hall on Monday evening. We were received by the Deputy Mayor of Copenhagen, who himself is a medical man interested in allergy. After an elegant speech of welcome and advice, we settled down to a magnificent buffet supper amply displayed in one of the upstairs council chambers. Typical of our members, the comment most commonly heard that night was "How lucky we haven’t fed today?" But, seriously, the spread was first-class and naturally it was washed down with Tuborg beer. We thank the organisers of the symposium for arranging such a treat for us. The evening closed with us signing the visitors’ book and being shown round the suite of council rooms on the first floor.
On Tuesday, whilst the members got down to the problems of "Purification and Standardization of Allergens" and "New Diagnostic Procedures in Allergology", the ladies were swept away on an interesting North Zealand excursion. This covered Frederiksborg Castle, Fredensborg Castle, Kronborg Castle at Elsinore, and the Louisiana Art Gallery at Humlebak. Back at the lecture hall, the workers had been applauding first Paul Kallós for his wonderful gift to the CIA of an ebony gavel, suitably inscribed in silver to commemorate 20 years of life, and second the Carl Prausnitz Memorial Lecture of Otto Westphal. Zoltan Ovary introduced the speaker by telling us of Otto’s superb immunochemical work on the elucidation of the antigen’s structure of the cell wall of Salmonella, carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology at Freiburg, Zoltan added that at this institute the enthusiastic atmosphere created by Otto makes it the joy of all who have the good fortune to work there. Then followed the Second Memorial Lecture with the chosen subject of endotoxin. Otto delivered the lecture with wonderful clarity and eloquence and we are very indebted to him for giving the symposium such a good start. The day finished with the "Collegium’s General Business Meeting" at which the chief item of interest was, I think, the request for a revision of our constitution and rules. It appeared we had been awarding honorary and life memberships quite unconstitutionally and therefore hypothetically and this certainly needed correction, as did terms of office of officials.
Wednesday was next, and what a day it was to be! All of us (even our wives) met at Havnegade to cross by hydrofoil to Malmö in Sweden. The trip took 35 minutes and all I can remember is a group of 30 of us on deck being ushered down below - it was too dangerous for allergists to be on high places in those waters. Whilst the members were taken to Lund Hospital for discussions on Urticaria, the ladies visited Lund Cathedral, Svaneholm Castle (where venison was served) and the Kulturen Museum. The weather was fine on this day and this was an ideal setting for a late afternoon cocktail party at the house of member Rorsman in Lund. Incidentally, the ladies had been told that the gentlemen will join in, and we sure did, admiring both the house and the garden and enjoying the superb hospitality. Buses took us back to Malmö for the boat to Copenhagen, during which time (about an hour and a half) dinner was served on board.
Thursday was wet - very wet - but that did not deter us having an interesting day discussing "Different Aspects of Reaginic Allergy" whilst the ladies had their hair shampooed and set for the evening. Four fine lectures by members Ishizaka, Uvnäs, Lichtenstein and Diamant contributed much to the success of this day.
The banquet at the Belle Terrasse Restaurant started at 7:30 p.m. and finished at midnight when we were thrown out by the Tivoli authorities. Over 150 attended, so you can be sure it was an outstanding event. It couldn’t have been otherwise, with a Menu of Coquille de Fletan St. Malo, Filet de Veau Gormet, Glace de Vanille Bernois, and Mocca, and with suitable red and white wines and port and liquers. One of the highlights of the evening was a Fur Fashion Show by Baug, when all of us saw and admired some furs valued at well over F 3,000. Most of us, however, were jealous of one of our members - in fact, he was one of the organisers of the symposia - who sat purposely at the end of a table so that he could stroke the furs and the wearers of them as they passed by. Lots of other things happened that night - presentation to Paul for his great services to the collegium, (he incidentally let Liselotte, his wife, have two glasses of wine that night) and presentations of life membership certificates to Paul, Aurelio Cerletti and Otto Westphal, and of certificates to 18 new members (with some comments from some wives about why they married allergists). David Harley, our first president, was unable to be present on account of illness, but we honoured him, too, for all his efforts and guidance over the past 20 years. One was reminded of that old Persian Apophthegm - a pointed saying embodying an important truth in a few words:
And we follow you, David, and recognise the great and unique achievements in establishing the collegium and making it such an important organisation. Also at the banquet, we had speeches, songs, stories (high and low), verses, action rhymes, and amusing experiences. Lack of a microphone as well as division of the guests into two distinct but unequal sections by a barrier - sort of mast cell membrane with pores in it - did not deter the relaxed atmosphere of everyone contributing to a most successful evening.
Finally, to the last day when "The role of B and T lymphocytes and other lymphocytic populations in allergic reactions" were discussed, starting with a great effort from Jack Miller from Melbourne. He was followed by member Turk (who had just arrived - in fact he came the night before, especially for the meal) and member Dukor, our new treasurer. After coffee, our secretary Alain de Weck was just telling us about his views of lymphocyte stimulation when he triggered off the fuses and we were all in the Black Hole of Calcutta. The chairman asked Alain if he wished to continue but wisely he said No, and so lunch was taken a little early. The afternoon session closed about 3 o’clock with sincere thanks to the organising committee of the 10th symposium -
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