Lambert Fick was a truly passionate dentist, as those of you who have attended his lectures or have simply “talked teeth” with him will attest. No organisation matched & mirrored that passion better than the Aesthetic Academy movement.
Lambert’s initial interest in the group was stimulated by his great friend & fellow Wits graduate, David Garber. David had long been an active member of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry & told Lambert that the concept, the camaraderie & the sheer excellence of the scientific programmes made the meetings “must see” events!
The A.A.E.D. provided the framework for a world wide movement, & never one to miss an exciting new development, Lambert was delighted to learn that the concept was moving in to Europe, bringing it closer to home.
He attended his first aesthetic academy meeting in 1986; it was only the second meeting of the newly formed European Academy of Esthetic Dentistry (EAED) & was held in Monte Carlo.
I well remember that meeting & in particular Lambert’s excitement at having found an organisation that mirrored his passion, not just for dentistry, but for all things excellent!
We both felt greatly welcomed & basked in the special social ambience that the meetings had. He felt truly inspired and he was determined that he would like to see & experience more of the same. Where better to go, therefore, than to the founding academy?
In August 1987, having procured a much sought after invitation to attend from David Garber, we took our young daughters off to California & participated in our first American Academy meeting. This pattern became the norm & we attended both the European & American Academy meetings annually from that moment on.
In 1988 he was elected an active member of the EAED & quietly began to nurse his dream of bringing the Academy concept to the U.K.
With each successive meeting he attended, the possibility of forming a British Academy was becoming a reality in Lambert’s mind. Without the support of committed converts, however, the dream would only ever remain a dream, & Lambert sought therefore to spread the word, encouraging like minded friends & colleagues to attend the meetings.
David Klaff was one such & he & Sharon accompanied us in 1988 to the AAED meeting in Boston. He knew it was vital to engage those who were familiar with the Aesthetic Academy ethos.
His colleagues, David Kaplan & Tidu Mankoo, who subsequently became Founding Executive Council members, happily enlisted to the cause & so it was that whilst waiting for a train from Pisa airport to take them to the EAED meeting in Florence in 1994 that a (very!) small group of enthusiastic & dedicated UK – based converts heard Lambert’s vision & shared in his dream.
The Academy took shape on that station platform & the commitment to start B.A.A.D. was made. Lambert sought sanction & guidance from Ronnie Goldstein, AAED Co-Founder & from the EAED Executive. The proposal was enthusiastically endorsed & the rest, as they say, is history.
The inaugural B.A.A.D. meeting was held at “The Belfry” in 1995 & Lambert was the Academy’s Founding President – a role he fiercely cherished.
In 1997, he was immensely proud to present a clinical paper to The A.A.E.D. meeting in Cancun & was elected an associate member of the Academy – an honour accorded to only 2 other British Clinicians.
In early 2002, Phillipe Gallon, President of the International Federation of Esthetic Dentistry, nominated Lambert for the post of treasurer of the I.F.E.D., a role he was sadly prevented from fulfilling by the onset of his illness.
Lambert’s vision, however, has been realised, & B.A.A.D. today is the force for education & excellence in UK dentistry that he dreamt about. He was a modest man, totally without ego – the academy is testament to his drive & his passion for dentistry.
It is wonderful to know that the Lambert Fick Memorial Lecture will provide a lasting contribution to the organisation he founded & held so dear.