Vale Dr. Paul Lee ( Lee Kwok Poh) 83 years
Life member of Australasian Begg Society of Orthodontists
Paul was a wonderful character- born in Malaysia on the 21st September 1933, he was one of five children.
The family survived the Japanese occupation but life was difficult for the family. His father, a highly regarded school teacher, was lucky to have been spared from a random execution. Paul had four siblings-a sister and three older brothers.
Paul came to Adelaide under the Colombo Plan in 1950 to complete his final two years of secondary education at Christian Brothers College. He then studied dentistry at The University of Adelaide, graduating with a BDS degree at the end of 1956.
Due to restrictions applying under the "White Australia" policy at that time, Paul was not able to work in private practice. Consequently, he accepted a position with the Tasmanian Dental Service where he worked until 1958 always promoting preventitive dentistry. This was often in conflict with the dental administration at that time which more valued statistics reflecting restorations and extractions which were measurably "productive".
It was in Tasmania that Paul's love of the outdoors, bushwalking and Australian native flora and flora was born.
In 1959 Paul commenced his post-graduate studies in orthodontics at The University of Western Australia. He graduated in 1963 by which time he had qualified for permanent residency in Australia. He then worked in private practice in St. George's Tce. as well as at the Perth Dental Hospital.
Paul Lee attended the inaugural Begg Course in Adelaide conducted by Dr. Begg. In the photograph on the ABSO website, Paul is positioned in the front row, second from the left. His enthusiasm for both the Begg technique and for education, resulted in Paul teaching the theory and mechanics of the Begg technique to post graduate students in Western Australia.
Paul established a private practice in South Perth in the 1980's. It was from this location that he enthusiastically practiced and cared for all of his many patients until his retirement a couple of years ago at the age of 81 years.
It was Paul's exposure in Adelaide to Aboriginal material collected by Adelaide University under the influence of Prof. Murray Barrett and others, that particularly interested him. This tied in well with Dr. Beggs' theory of attritional occlusion. Paul's love of the Australian outback and Aboriginal cultural heritage continued throughout his life.
Surely it was Paul's sense of humour that set him apart. Always proud of his Malaysian/Chinese background, he would often describe himself as a "Yellow Greenie"!
Who can forget his orthodontic presentations, particularly to members of his beloved Begg Society- insightful, entertaining and thought provoking. "Just take a picture" he would often say rather than take out baby teeth. Perhaps he was right!
Paul will be sadly be missed by all those who had the pleasure of knowing him. He was a friend to all, exuding passion, enthusiasm and humour.
With thanks to Andrew Savunda and Geoff Heithersay