Robert A. Scarborough

1963 to 1964

By the simple process of election to the office of president of a society, the recipient of this high honor supposedly is capable of sudden metamorphosis from his former modest status to that of a learned essayist -- a wise philosopher, a knowledgeable historian, an orator possessed of keen wit and eloquence. An apology for my own obvious lack of these enviable qualities would be redundant.

Yet this moment thrusts upon me a responsibility which transcends the customary annual address of the president of the American Proctologic Society. For there are here assembled in joint meeting, members of the Section of Proctology of the Royal Society of Medicine and illustrious physicians from 55 other countries of the world.

Our prime purpose is to share and freely exchange whatever knowledge and experience we may possess, so that we may return to our homes - wherever they may be - with augmented ability to minister to the physical afflictions of the infirm. Yet, above and beyond this, there is most assuredly in the mind and in the heart of each and everyone of us, the earnest desire that this assemblage will serve to further a common goal of universal peace with security, health and happiness for all the peoples of the world.

It is of this that I would speak, though only as a physician, ignorant of the ways of politics and diplomacy, of social and economic pressures within and between nations, and of the military mights and rights which appear to threaten us all.