of the M.B.C. - vol. 1' - n' 1 - September 1987
OFFICIAL INAUGURATION OF THE
MEDITERRANEAN BURNS CLUB
Opening address by
S. Williarn GUNN, Acting President, MBC
Honourable President of the Sicilian
Distinguished President of the Giuseppe Whitaker Foundation,
Academic and Civil Authorities,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
As Winston Churchill said, the oceans that
divide, are seaways that unite.
Thus, 17 Mediterranean
countries are united by a common sea and by a series of historical events which, over the
centuries, have reciprocally affected and woven their cultures and their destinis. They
present at once differences and similarities in every field and surely in scientific
approaches, in disease patterns and in care systems, depending on their individual
backgrounds, level of technology and socio-cultural structures.
These similarities and differences extend also to healt, to surgery, and to the care of
burn patients. It was this that led our late friend Professor Giovanni Dogo, in 1983, to
propose the formation of an organized yet loosely-structured forum of Mediterranean burn
specialists. A club of friends, rather than a structured society.
This is what brings us to Palermo today; Palermo, exactly at the centre of this mare
nostrum, with its first class and ultra-modern Burns Unit and, of course, its dynamic
leader, Professor Michele Masellis, our untiring Secretary-General. What could be more
appropriate as the home of the Mediterranean Burns Club.
The Government of Sicily and the Health Authorities of Palermo have generously assured us
of their official, moral and financial support, and all of you, Distinguished Delegates,
coming from every country in and around the Mediterranean, have assured us of your
interest and encouragement. With such backing, we cannot fail.
The dream of Giovanni Dogo has come true today, and we are particularly pleased to have
his wife with us at this ceremony. I propose that Professor Dogo's memory be maintained
permanently as Honorary President, and I officially declare the Mediterranean Bums Club
S. William Gunn, MD, MS, FRCS (C)
Gathered at Villa Malfitano,
Palermo, Sicily, Italy,
June 18, 1987