As told by his daughter, Pat Zuckerman.

Bernie Wortreich
Bernie Wortreich and assistant outside the surgery

Bernie was born in Muizenberg and came to live in Goodwood with his wife Kalma  Kowarsky in 1944 when he worked as a locum for Nathan Mallach.

In 1947 he opened his own two clinics as part of our home in Vasco. There was a non-White and a White waiting room, with all patients being treated on the same bed with the same instruments in the same surgery which had sound proofing against the noises of the house. Yes, those were the years when children were supposed  to be seen and not heard.

Bernie was a very handsome charming doctor who worked 24/7. As children we only  saw him at night for a few moments; holidays were never spent with him; he occasionally went off with a good friend for a weekend. We children were never involved.

He was a doctor for a huge metal works company and also on the list of the railway's doctors. At the back of our garage he had a dispensary and an X-ray      room. We would help him dispense medicines for gastroenteritis. I remember  mixing the green solution with a white powder. We also made pastes for ailments.

His lady patients adored him. He had all the right ingredients. He was a great  psychologist too.  We once found a stabbed man in our garden as the family did not want to take  him to hospital. The knife was still in his back.

Those were the days when the doctor did everything; deliver babies and surgery. He had a pregnant Coloured lady who was having twins. She agreed to give them with the names of the then two partners - Wortreich and Brenner. That was by far the cutest story.

Bernie left his practice in South Africa in 1963 after selling it to Israel Brenner.

My only memories of being with him on his own were the trips to his clinic in Elsies River. I would take a drive with him to this clinic in a predominantly Coloured area (poor to boot) and sit in the small lane next to the clinic waiting for him quite impatiently to complete his surgery, listening to wonderful radio programmes.

We were also treated to driving with him on his house calls in the strangest  and craziest places through sandy roadless areas. He was a great sportsman particularly a  sprinter - the intervarsity 100 yard dash  was his best. He came first in 1941 or 1942.  He saw the writing on the wall after Sharpeville and decided to make plans  to leave South Africa for Israel with his  family in 1964 with his wife and three children Pat, Toni and Jeffrey who were 18, 17 and 8 at the time.