Our society has many legends and Donald F. Spring was one of them. Dr Spring was a Founding member of Executive of the Victorian branch, when it was formed in 1952. He served for many years on the state branch and federal committees, being Federal Treasurer in 1956-59 under the ASO Presidency of K.T Adamson. He Chaired the Constitution Committee from 1969 -1972.
In 1969, an enormous amount of constitutional change was required and Dr Spring, who was highly regarded and experienced on both matters ADA and ASO, was appointed to shepherd this process through. From the time of graduation, Donald Spring involved himself in every possible facet of his chosen profession and his influence extended with his increasing service. This included lecturing and demonstrating to students, 20 years as a member of the Dental Faculty, 20 years as a dental graduate representative on the Convocation of the University of Melbourne. He was a member of the Council of the Australian Dental Association (Victorian Branch) for 27 years, President in 1957. He was a member of the Dental Board of Victoria from 1966, and the President 1972-75. His record of service was indeed remarkable, and in recognition of his contributions to dentistry and the community at large he was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1976
Specifically to the Foundation for Research and Education, it was conceived in 1961, when Dr Stanley Wilkinson, sent a detailed letter to the ASO Executive, proposing a Foundation be established and that he and his wife would be happy to financially seed the initiative.
Donald Spring was appointed Convenor of the investigative committee to examine the question of a Foundation and to discuss with Dr Wilkinson the method of establishment. He was to report to the next meeting of Executive. His report was duly completed for the May meeting in that year and clearly set out the objectives for the Foundation were endorsed.
Foundation was to “promote research into the prevention and treatment of malocclusion of the teeth and facial deformity in children AND the establishment of lectures for members of the Society and to the public by world authorities on recent advances in the Science of Orthodontics”.
In December 1982, the Foundation received a very generous bequest of $20,000 in the will of Donald Spring. At the time Foundation assets were just over $72,000 and at the end of the year, members had donated a further $6,070 bringing total assets to $99,374. In today’s figures (2011), to make a comparable percentage donation, the amount of $860,000 would be required.
Wisely, the Trustees, in recognition of Dr Donald Spring’s many, valuable contributions to the Foundation and our Society, and his generous donation, decided that the first lecture at Foundation Meetings, would be named in his honour, the Donald Spring Memorial Lecture.
ASOFRE kindly thanks past Chairman, Dr John R. Owen AM for this address delivered at Foundation meeting in Melbourne, 2011.