Graham McKirdy Memorial Lecture

“I tend to go and get things done as best as I can. It’s a bit like a football team, occasionally you’re the captain but you’re a part of a team and everybody works to deliver what’s best for dentists and patients”.

This quote exemplified Graham’s approach to clinical practice, teaching and to dental politics. Born in Clydebank, Graham graduated from GDH&S in 1979 and began a career in general dental practice in Glasgow and Lanarkshire. He also spent over twenty years as a visiting GDP teaching dental students.

Early in his career Graham was elected to Lanarkshire Local Dental Committee and thus began an interest – indeed, a passion – for advocacy and representation of patients and communities, dental professionals and other healthcare workers, which continued throughout the rest of his life. He took part in all manner of representative bodies, committees and working groups within the BDA at Scottish and UK level. His learned knowledge of NHS pensions was so detailed he was later appointed to the NHS Scotland Pension Board as a member representative looking after the superannuation interests of all NHS workers.

Graham was a Past President of our West of Scotland Branch and he was later awarded the highly prestigious Fellowship of the British Dental Association, an honour bestowed only on those who have given “exceptional and distinguished service to the profession”. He also received a lifetime achievement award from the Conference of Scottish Local Dental Committees.

Those of us who spent time on committees with Graham fondly recall his many idiosyncrasies: the brightly-coloured neck-ties with comic cartoon motifs, the spectacles always perched on the top of his head, and, invariably, the jacket off and shirt sleeves rolled up – the latter a perfect metaphor for his attitude to life and work!

As a lasting tribute to our dear friend and colleague Branch Council has instigated the annual “Graham McKirdy Memorial Lecture”.

graham mckirdy