Recent weeks in the world of Wargamerabbit have been saddened by the passing of my father on June 14th. Being a “master of ceremony” to his final moment, Dr. Maurice Anthony Verity (Tony) died in peaceful sleep with all the family members present at his bedside. Mom holding his hand, a simple breath, then the room was silent.
Born Maurice Anthony Verity on April 1931 in Leeds, he was trained as a medical doctor specializing in pathology (neuropathology). After serving internships at NHS hospitals (St Mary’s) in London, Wolverhampton and Portsmouth, My father left England to go to Los Angeles in 1959 * and began serving a residency at UCLA’s School of Medicine in 1960. He was one of the early founding professors at UCLA Medical School. He remained a part of the hospital staff and doubled as a university professor for more than 50 years. He also served for more than 20 years as a deputy coroner for the Los Angeles coroner’s office.
* WR came across later in 1959 on the RMS Mauritania with my mom at six months of age. Had my “sea legs” at an early age per my mom chasing me with a fast crawl. I still have my booking and ship passenger list from that voyage to the new world.
Nov 7, 2014 WR added updated media material at end of blog covering the Dr. Verity U.C.L.A. Remembrance Nov 6, 2014.
Quick note on cricket in the United States. The game of cricket has been played since the founding days of the United States. The first International game of any sport was a cricket match (Test) back in 1844 (US vs. Canada). Cricket was America’s pastime sport till the late 1890’s and has over 30,000 players, in clubs around the US, of our modern times.
These photos are but a small glance of my father’s world. Even as I write these short sentences his co-workers at UCLA, fellow cricket player around the world, former medical school (international) students now medical doctors, artists in the local art guild, all are sending thoughts on life’s interactions with my father and condolences to my family. My father wasn’t just an Englishman, nor an American, he belonged to the world it seems.
ESPN article on my father and USA cricket highly worth the reading: ESPN Cricket Verity
United States Cricket Assoc site: USACA
United States cricket background material: US Cricket
Leo Magnus Cricket Complex in Los Angeles where my father played and umpired: Leo Magnus CC
M. Anthony Verity, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Pathology (Neuropathology): Brain Research Institute at UCLA
My wargaming path never crossed his busy professional career or his artwork, but it did in some small way his cricket world. Whenever we toured / traveled the USA or Europe, I would try to seek the local historical sites nearby. Castles in England and Wales, Fort Niagara in New York, Fort York in Toronto Canada and many others. Lastly, it was his christmas gift back in 1969 of the AH Panzerblitz which sparked my interest in boardgaming till I found the little miniature warfare booklet in London’s Victoria station one summer in 1971 (on tour). That started the life long process of collecting books and miniatures, painting the miniatures, rule and scenario writing for the miniatures…. that still goes on to this day.
Your life was full Dad and we all loved you. Mom, Michael (WR), Neil and Alicia plus your five grand children.
Rest in Peace Dad. You can umpire the cricket games in heaven now.
Michael aka WR
P.S. Even recently, every time I used my father’s car I still glance and check the back seat to see if there is human brain tissue or similar biopsy material. Explaining that to your girlfriend in those distant past days of youth was priceless.
Updated Nov 7, 2014 by WR
U.C.L.A. Remembrance and Celebration on Career of Dr. M. Anthony Verity, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP (London) Professor Emeritus of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Neuropathology UCLA 1959-2014 held November 6, 2014 at UCLA NPI.
Dr. Verity Remembrance (.pdf) pamphlet. Note, large scanned document so use slide viewer bar to see entire document.
Photos taken during the Remembrance and Celebration event held, true to my father, in the very hallway, offices, and the dedicated (2000) neuropathology education center in his name.
Some views of the general “hallway action”. The actual Remembrance and Celebration was held in the conference auditorium with guests and speakers (see Remembrance pamphlet) then soon moved to the classic “hallway” common for UCLA NPI events.
Quick walkabout the stomping grounds of WR’s youth. Many saturday was spent by WR roaming the halls of UCLA Medical center, hospital and school. Fun checking out the unlocked rooms and finding passageways to nowhere it seemed. Laboratories, medical school lectures, actual live operations viewed from the student viewing glass ceiling room, very hazardous chemicals at fingertips, the “cold room” with complete human specimens of brains, hearts, lungs …etc, and my favorite, the electron microscope. Plus the fun of working the lab bench with Dad… but not understanding what I was looking at…. blood cells, muscle cells, funny shaped pink things in my brain’s summary.
YouTube video visit of Dad’s lab and education center: Dad’s Lab
The “Cold Room”. Father was strict about entering that room. Always follow the “five-minute rule” as breathing in the preservative chemicals didn’t improve your health. WR learned more about the human body and organs in that room then any textbook. Something about holding real human brains and tissue drives the lesson home it seems.
One day WR was a bit bored so Dad gave me the instruction to their recently acquired electron microscope. Read up the basic operations…. then flipped the switch. Learned all about how to make tissue slides, view them and understand somewhat the lesson plan.
Time marches on, even in the world of academia UCLA. Some will remember the white-haired Englishman who came in 1959. His joy of work laid the stepping-stones on the fields of modern neuropathology and neurochemistry and touched many remaining in the halls of UCLA’s NPI. Like my father, they all strive towards continuing the advance of science and the betterment of mankind. His legacy.
WR hops forward and remembers the father he was.
WR (Nov 7, 2014)