Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Right Angle Club 2009
The 2009 proceedings of the Right Angle Club of Philadelphia, beginning with the farewell address of the outgoing president, John W. Nixon, and sadly concluding with memorials to two departed members, Fred Etherington and Harry Bishop.

Fred Etherington

{Fred Etherington}
Fred Etherington

Thoughts about Fred Etherington Since my induction into The Right Angle Club in 1997, Fred Etherington was always most supportive of me and through the years we became very good friends, in spite of the difference in our ages. In summer 2001, I gave a talk to the Club about 3 cities in Germany and Fred then recommended me for the honored 4 year Board progression, resulting in becoming President of the Club in 2004. During this time, Fred and his brother, Burt, were the Club's historians and we further bonded at the monthly Board of Control meetings. Also during this time, we would see Fred and his family each summer in Nantucket. I remember riding my bike down India Street and passing Fred's rental house every day. When he had been more mobile, he and his family (his wife, Frances, and daughters Susan and Laurie) would come to our place for our cocktail parties. He also invited us for cocktails in his garden. Not being a big drinker himself, he still made a special effort to have a bottle of wine and a pint of gin for us sinners when we went to his home. I remember his great WW II stories and his adventures in Iwo Jima. We missed seeing him the last couple of years in Nantucket, but Julie and I would drop in to see him and Frances at Beaumont whenever we could. Although he was restricted to bed, he was always alert and very positive in his life views. To sum it up, I want to quote something our Racquet Club waitress, Rosie, said to me later on the day of his memorial service. She said to me: "He was always such a gentleman, and I loved helping put on his Club pin". Fred and Burt, both proud Princetonians, were our two special Life Members and were such a big part of what made the Right Angle Club something very special and enduring. Fred had joined the Club in 1950, he was our President in 1958, and his memory lingers on for those who were fortunate enough to have known him over the many years he graced us with his kind wisdom and joyful presence.

Robert Bryan

Past President 2004

Originally published: Sunday, December 13, 2009; most-recently modified: Monday, May 20, 2019