Barry Lovius

Barry Benzion Jonathan Lovius  MDS, FDS RCSE, DipOrth

It is often said that ‘you never forget a brilliant and inspirational teacher’. Barry Lovius, who died on November 30th last year, was one such teacher and is consequently remembered with fondness and gratitude by those who studied under him.

Born on November 7th 1930 in Bloemfontein in South Africa, he left his home town at the age of 18 to take up the place he had been awarded at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. Five years later he left Witwatersrand as Bachelor of Dental Surgery. He then moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where he gained valuable experience in a dental practice in Salisbury (now Harare).  Wishing then to further his studies and if possible gain a specialist qualification he moved to London where he was soon admitted to the post-graduate orthodontic course at the Eastman hospital. After obtaining his Diploma in Orthodontics he made a very deliberate decision to devote his energies to  the hospital service and so embarked on the course he was to follow for the rest of his working life. In 1963  he moved to Liverpool to take up the position of senior registrar at the Liverpool Dental hospital and shortly afterwards he was appointed senior lecturer in orthodontics at Liverpool University, a position he retained until his retirement in 1996.

In 1984 still at the Liverpool Dental Hospital and now a consultant Barry was appointed head of the Regional Cleft Palate Unit, whereafter his clinical work was divided between Liverpool Dental Hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. The care and treatment of children with cranio-facial deformities calls not only for skill and knowledge but also for exceptional patience, perseverance and, above all, empathy; all qualities with which Barry was particularly gifted and which enabled him to be extremely effective in supporting and encouraging his patients and their families on their often lengthy programmes of treatment.

In his dealings with his colleagues he was noted for his interest in promoting diversity, the generosity with which he gave of his time, his honesty and integrity and his refusal to bow to political expediency despite this being  sometimes to his cost. 
These things were also noted and appreciated by his students as was his sense of humour and his unstinting commitment to their learning and their welfare.

In 1996 he retired from both his NHS work as Head of the Cleft Palate Unit and from his post as senior lecturer in orthodontics at Liverpool University. He did not, however, stop work. He moved immediately to Aberdeen to take up a full time locum consultant post at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. To that position he again brought his customary dedication, seeing patients not only in the Orthodontic department of the hospital but also in a number of outlying clinics, including Elgin and Orkney.

When he finally stopped working at age 70 he turned his attention to supporting his wife, Alison, in the final years of her career as a teacher of French, accompanying her first to Devon and later to Berlin.

Barry died peacefully at his home in Formby on the last day of November 2021. He leaves behind him his loving wife, Alison, four children from his first marriage to Jean Grant and seven grandchildren.

Mark W Fazakerley
Sumithra Hewage