Professor Emeritus George Davies CBE DDS



Mr Chancellor,

This year will witness the retirement, after more than twenty-two years' service to the University, of George Neville Davies, Professor of Social and Preventive Dentistry from 1964, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) since 1976.
In his career to date, he has held many offices. With this University he served as Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry from 1964 to 1970, President of the Professorial Board (now the Academic Board) in 1973 and 1974, and Acting Vice-Chancellor in 1977 and 1978 after the departure of Sir Zelman Cowen.

He came to us from New Zealand, where he was a leader in dental science and education. After completing a term of service as Dental Officer with the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force, he was appointed as Head of the Department of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Otago, where he had earlier been an undergraduate. He held that headship from 1948 until he came to bring enlightenment to Queensland - our dental school being considerably younger than Otago's.

In world dental organizations he has held many eminent positions. Since 1957 he has been a member of the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Dental Health. In the same year he became a member of the Commission for Oral Statistics of the Federation Dentaire Internationale, holding the chairmanship from l 97 6 to 1979.

In both New Zealand and Australia he has been active in professional and administrative bodies of major significance. From 1960 to 1963 he was a member of the Medical Research Council of New Zealand. Since coming to Brisbane he has served on the Queensland Dental Board from 1969 to 1975 and the South Brisbane Hospitals Board from 1976 to 1979. It is this kind of unstinting service to the community that led to the award of a CBE in 1982.

George Davies has served this University with distinction. His contribution has been characterized by analytical ability, mastery of detail, patient negotiating skills, urbanity, and never-failing humanity. His own initiatives and the advice he has provided to others have produced a multitude of beneficial effects.

I am told that in his early years as a member of the Professorial Board he sometimes bore the air of a dentist painstakingly explaining the inevitable to a dubious patient. Perhaps the University patient responded to this treatment, for in the years I have worked with him his persuasiveness, sympathy, and elegance of presentation have always commanded the utmost respect for his ideas. The University has been a better place because of his presence.

It is appropriate that he should be honoured for his services to dental science, dental. education, higher education generally, and the University of Queensland in particular.

Mr Chancellor, I present to you George Neville Davies, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Doctor of Dental Science of Northwestern University artd the University of New Zealand, Fellow in Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of England, Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Dental Surgeons, for conferral of the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, to which he has been admitted by the Senate of this University.


Doctor of Science honoris causa