Harry E. Bacon

1948 to 1949

It is a privilege to celebrate with you the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the American Proctologic Society and to pay tribute to our past presidents whose vision, ideals and accomplishments have formulated our present structure of achievement.

The half century spanned by this Society is not long if measured by the process of the suns but it is an infinite distance into the past if gauged by the revolutionary changes and events which have marked the passing of those five decades. Those fifty years have seen beliefs once thought immutable, principles once held to be eternal, relegated to the dustbins of outworn ideas. During its threshing the dispassionate flail of time has beaten the good grain from the stalks that bore it and the winds have carried the chaff into oblivion. Many in other fields of activity who for a passing moment might have enjoyed the world's esteem are now forgotten but the work of great thinkers and the achievements of noble characters in the realm of medicine are among the permanent acquisitions of this world which abide and continue to bless mankind.

It is good to lose oneself in contemplation of the past and in reflection upon the achievements of those who have gone before us.