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ON January 23, Edward John Witting Birley, BVMS, CertVD, of Tasmania, Australia. Mr Birley qualified from Glasgow in 1966.
Jim Wight writes: Our ‘Class of ’66' (graduates of the University of Glasgow veterinary school in 1966) has always been a close one. Many strong friendships were forged during those years of veterinary education, and these have been cemented by five-yearly reunions. Long discussions into the night, with tales of the seesawing fortunes of veterinary practice – the glorious triumphs and the desperate, but so entertaining, disasters – ensuring that we have never lost touch over our 45 years since graduation.
It was around the time of our last reunion that we learned of the passing of John Birley, one of the most popular and entertaining members of our year. His death came as a shock to us all, and our group will be much the poorer for our loss.
The veterinary profession has always been illuminated by great characters, and John Birley was one of them. A highly intelligent man with an acute and, at times, devastating sense of humour, he led a varied and fulfilling life both within and without his profession. At university, he had a wide range of interests, from rock climbing to amateur dramatics and classical music.
In common with many of a high intellect and strong sense of humour, he was prone to periods of euphoria and depression, and …