Sadly, the Association was notified in late 2020 in August 2018 passing of Dr. Bruce Benjamin, a Corresponding Emeritus Fellow, at the age of 89 years old in his home, Killara, Australia. Dr. Benjamin was inducted as a Corresponding Fellow in 1980 and elevated to Emeritus status in 2011.
After completing grammar school, he was awarded a scholarship to attend Sydney University in 1950-1953 where he studied medicine. He later attended St. Paul’s College where in 1956, he earned a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. In 1961, he was presented a diploma of laryngo-otology.
Dr. Benjamin was recognized as the first in Australia to use the carbon dioxide laser in the airways of both adults and children. He designed numerous instruments for laryngoscopy, including the innovative Benjamin jet tube that was an anaesthetic tube for adult microlaryngoscopy. He was also instrumental in improving the photographic documentation (slides) of the pharynx, larynx, tracheobronchial tree and oesophagus in health and disease in both adults, children, and infants. These slides have been used extensively in teaching.
Dr. Benjamin served at the chairperson of the Otolaryngological Society of NSW and started a fellowship in pediatric and adult laryngo-broncho-oesophagology. Additionally, he developed, with colleagues, a hands-on training position for fellows to become familiar with the techniques of endoscopy and anaesthesia. In 1997, he qualified as a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons that preceded his appointment as clinical professor of Otolaryngology at Sydney University in 1993. Dr. Benjamin’s work was acknowledged with the Order of Australia for service to pediatric laryngology specifically for airways diseases in children.
Although he officially retired in 1999 at the age of 68 years, Dr. Benjamin continued to consult and write articles until 2016. When not practicing or consulting, he loved a good golf game. Having five holes-in-one on five different courses was a remarkable achievement that he treasured. He often recalled that as a youngster, he and his brother made solid balsa silhouettes of enemy airplanes for the Australian Airforce pilots and crew to help identify enemy aircraft. Their efforts were rewarded with a thrilling ride in a Bristol Beaufighter from a local RAAP airfield.
To hold his memory, Dr. Benjamin is survived by his wife, Nellie, of 60 years, and children, Greg and Susanne. He also leaves three grandchildren, John, Ben, and Emma.