Terry Gibson's Retirement Banquet
26th March 2014
ALL HAIL THE EMPEROR PENGUIN!
Terry Gibson's retirement dinner took place on 26th March 2014 at Guy's Hospital. It was attended by more than a hundred friends, family, work colleagues and Penguins, who shared a glass or two of wine, swapped anecdotes and had a great time.
Mark Kinirons gave a potted history of Terry the polymath, outlining his distinguished clinical and artistic career, as a Guy's Consultant Rheumatologist and General Physician, but also as an accomplished sketcher and painter and President of the 407 Art Club. This contrasted nicely with examples of Terry's pugilistic exploits as a Blues-winning boxer.
Nina Agarwal then described what it was like to work with Terry. There are well-established sources of reference for junior clinical staff for common clinical conditions. There are also subject-matter experts who can provide assistance in managing rarely encountered syndromes. Tellingly though, when any member of the department really had no idea what was the root cause of a patient's condition, they would always turn to Terry for advice - sage, insightful, measured, invaluable. In sum, when there's something strange, and it don't look good, who you gonna call? - Terry Gibson!
Charlie Beardmore gave his highly subjective view on Terry's Celtic heritage and rugby playing exploits (at least those he had witnessed in their three decades of playing together, Charlie not having been born when Terry entered Guy's):
Our Beloved Emperor Penguin
"The Oldest of The Oldest!"
Terry is the oldest player in the oldest rugby club in the world. It is postulated that he started playing for Guy's Hospital Rugby Football Club relatively soon after the Club was founded in 1843. Historical records do not conclusively prove that Terry was present at the formation of the Rugby Football Union in 1871 (Guy's Hospital RFC and King's College Hospital RFC were both founder members), but you never know.
Terry has played in excess of 1,000 games for Guy's, and remains seemingly indestructible. He relishes the 20th Century version of the game, when it was wholly amateur, and generally players were a lot smaller. He recognised that things had changed in 2001 when as an 11 stone lean-machine, packing down with the similar sized, redoubtable Chris Howell, the two of them, combined, formed only half of the front row, the remaining 22 stone being provided by Big Rich, a player of the modern era.
Terry was President of Guy's Hospital RFC for many years, and has been appointed Emperor Penguin of the charity Penguins Against Cancer, of which he is a Founder Trustee.
Terry, ever the altruist, departs on retirement, to start clinical work in Sierra Leone where his wisdom and skill will no doubt be used to great positive effect. He remains a man relatively small in stature, but huge in character, commitment, ability and credibility. He is universally admired and respected. He will be sorely missed, but has promised to play in a Penguins XV versus Freshers XV rugby match at Honor Oak Park on 4th October 2014.
Please come and watch the game.
A massive thank you to Jane x 2 for organising, to Lewis for the excellent music, and to the extended Gibson family and friends for the patisserie par excellence Penguin cake, and other memorable contributions to a truly outstanding evening.