John Festenstein writes: I was a pupil at Highlands North High School from 1949 to 1951. I came from Yeoville Primary School and started in the Form one class of Mr de Villiers and left after Form 3 under the tender mercies of Mr Smit (greatly feared because of his cane). After that I went to Damelin College where I matriculated in 1952.
My memories of Highlands North School are rather sketchy but I do have keen recollections of the Cadet band in which I played the side drum (together with amongst others David Katznelson and Leonard Bobrow). Also, I remember the shooting range for some reason.
After matriculation, I spent 2 years on a BA course before changing to medicine. I started Medicine in 1955 with 7 other Highlands North Boys who matriculated in 1954.
I graduated in 1961 and after house jobs at Coronation and Transvaal Memorial Hospital, and a period as a Casualty Officer at the Johannesburg General Hospital, I decided to specialise in Radiology.
I was fortunate to meet Professor Morris Simon, a South African radiologist in Boston who offered me a Residency at the Beth Israel Hospital where I spent 3 years. I was subsequently a Fellow at Boston City and University Hospitals during which time I obtained my Board Certification.
At the end of this period my US visa expired so in 1970 together with my wife, Geraldine, and 2 young children we moved to London where we have remained ever since. The family has expanded to include 6 grandchildren (three in London and three in York).
I was appointed Senior Registrar at St Thomas’s and Brompton Hospitals and obtained my FFR (subsequently FRCR) in 1973.
I was then appointed as a Consultant in 1975 and subsequently moved to Edgware General Hospital in 1977 (which merged with Barnet Hospital in 1997) where I spent the remainder of my career in the company of several S.A. colleagues two of whom were also old Highlands North pupils (Gary Katz and Les Bernhardt).
Biography and pictures contributed by John Festenstein MB BCh (Rand) FFR FRCR (UK) London, August 2020