News & Publications

05 Jan 15

Vale Professor Arthur Everitt, 1924 to 2014

Professor Arthur Everitt, Associate Professor of Physiology retired, passed away peacefully on 29 December 2014 at the age of 90. Arthur is survived by his wife Joyce, son Michael, daughter Sue and five loved grand children. His funeral was held Monday 5 January 2015 at 11am at the Woronora Cemetery Sutherland.

Professor Arthur Everitt and the AAG

The foundations of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) were laid on 5 July 1962 when Dr Geoffrey Hughes and Dr Arthur Everitt established the Gerontological Society of New South Wales. The constitution of the new society was officially adopted and Dr Hughes was named its first president and Dr Everitt, secretary treasurer.

As the NSW society emerged, Dr Wallace continued to actively promote the need for a national association and with the help of Dr Sidney Sax and Sir Giles Chippindall, then president of the National Old Peoples Welfare Council (now COTA), the Australian Association of Gerontology was born in 1964.

The inaugural meeting of the AAG was held at the Australian National University in Canberra on 10 June 1964 with 47 founding members present including 15 from Victoria, eight from NSW, seven from WA, seven from ACT, six from SA, three from Queensland and one from Tasmania. Dr Sax was named the inaugural president of the AAG and Dr Wallace its first secretary. Dr Everitt was elected to the AAG council.

Arthur was as much a part of the field of gerontology as he was of the AAG throughout his life and into his late eighties, remaining active in ageing research, reading papers on ageing at conferences and publishing articles on ageing. He wrote in the AAG Newsletters from the very first issue and attended the 2013 National Conference.    

Tributes

On behalf of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG), I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to you and your family for the loss of Professor Arthur Everitt. Arthur was a revered figure in gerontology and held a very special place in the AAG as one of the founding members. The passing of Arthur will be felt by many within the community.  While it is a time of sadness, it is also a chance to reflect on many of the significant contributions that Arthur made to gerontology, particularly around the physiology of ageing and caloric restriction related to longevity, as well as the difference he made to people’s lives in his capacity as a friend and mentor.

Dr Tony Coles
CEO (2009 - 2015), AAG

Dear Arthur, my friend. I have been very priveleged to have known you for all those years. You were such a wonderful role model and mentor, friend - Sharon and I so enjoyed our morning talks, always positive, always smiling and always time for everyone. Rest in Peace my friend.

Marianne Cummins
Clinical Nurse Consultant
Member, AAG

I was saddened to hear of the death of Arthur and was pleased to be among a small group of AAG members who attended his funeral. While Arthur achieved a lot in the field of research my appreciation of him was more so for his friendship and his humanity. While I was working at Concord Hospital, Arthur came in one day a week to maintain his involvement in the long-standing research that he was so passionate about. He was always positive and interested in what others were doing. He was a kind and gentle man who was humble about his own achievements. Arthur was a wonderful role model to all of us as someone who was ageing positively. I will always have fond memories of him and wish all the best to his wife and family.

Dr Chris Shanley
Liverpool Hospital & University of New South Wales
Member, AAG

Arthur was a cheerful face most Friday's at CERA at Concord. He was such a forever cheerful and hopeful researcher, ready to encourage others when I knew him at CERA at Concord. He was always encouraging of other researchers, and his lifelong devotion to advancing understanding of biological ageing through his own efforts and by networking with others internationally even in the pre email era should be remembered to inspire future ageing researchers. A sad feeling of loss joins all who knew him.

Helen Creasey
University of Sydney
Member, AAG

Arthur is personally a man I was very fond of and have had many recollections and reflections with him over the years in terms of his impact on the formation of the AAG. In our work environment in CERA I use to relish our time spent together on the days that he came in - and would ramble to him for hours about his life both past and present. He was truly a very humble "gentleman and scholar" who left school at 15 years of age to support his family who then went on to achieve such amazing accomplishments. RIP Arthur - great work dear, dear gentle man xx. PPS: My most treasured gift I received in the mail when I married four years ago was a signed copy of his new book Calorie Restriction, Aging and Longevity, wishing us both a treasured life of ageing together - bless him - Arthur was always so quirky but so divine :)
Flowers that were laid at his funeral on behalf of the AAG stated "To an esteemed colleague and friend of the AAG. A true scholar and gentleman, a mentor to many, who was so respected and will be remembered so fondly. Your contribution to ageing, education and ageing research in Australia and around the world will never be forgotten. Rest In peace Arthur."

Sharon Wall
Ageing by Caring
Member, AAG

I was so sad to learn of Arthur’s death. I got a X-mas card from him and Joyce only a couple of weeks ago. We always stayed in touch - ever since founding of the AAG in 1964. He was the first and only biologist to join the AAG at that time and not only understood but supported the concept of a multi-disciplinary approach to aged care. He helped me organize a symposium to demonstrate this at one of our early conferences by starting off the session explaining the biology of ageing followed by a medico, nurse, physio and social worker. He and I worked together to establish the Proceedings of our conferences acting as editor and he always attended our conferences as well as promoting the AAG internationally. There are other people better qualified than I to assess his scientific input, but I know he was very respected internationally, especially in Japan in the early days. Personally I shall miss Arthur not only as a long-time colleague but also a friend who remembered my birthday!

Ruth Inall
Life Member, AAG

Arthur's quiet consistent presence at the AAG Conferences will be sadly missed. He has been a founder & poster boy for the Association since the early 1960s and of the NSW Division before that. I will miss his inquiring and gentlemanly input and his continuing interest in what I was up to. I first got to know Arthur and his ageing Wistar rat colony as a young trainee at Lidcombe through AAG meetings attended by the doyens of the time - Sid Sax, Dick Lefroy, David Wallace, Dick Gibson and all. However Arthur was the one with the international scientific reputation - despite his quiet and humble manner. Arthur had taught us medical students physiology in the 1950s while tending his ageing rat colony at Sydney University and when he retired in the 1980s we gave the colony and Arthur's research a home at CERA - Concord where he worked on, wrote papers and amended his ideas for another 30 years, with good support from David Le Couteur when he took the Chair. Great work Arthur; may you long be remembered for all your many attributes.

 

The Arthur Everett I knew was gentle of manner and speech, dedicated to and motivated by his passion for sound scientific research. Not blinkered by his own findings, he remained open to and interested in the findings of others across the whole field of multidisciplinary ageing. He was kind and welcoming to new researchers, ready to share his knowledge and always interested in new perspectives. In his “retirement” years, Arthur continued his research and maintained his support for the association which he helped to found. At AAG conferences, Arthur was always keenly observant and perceptive in his comments, supportive and measured in his critique of others’ opinions, generous in his encouragement of young starters. For us all, he has been a model of graceful ageing.

Felicity Barr
Member, Hunter Chapter, AAG




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