excerpt: The Beginning of the International Arthroscopy Association
In 1975, the first meeting of the International Arthroscopy Association was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in association with the SICOT meeting. The one-day meeting with Professor Watanabe as Chairman was highlighted by the diversity of papers that were presented.
Also, Richard O’Connor, MD, the Treasurer, had brought with him all of the funds paid as dues by the founding 70 members, which he had converted (illegally) into gold coins. At that time there was a moratorium in the United States on the private use of gold. Dr. O’Connor carried approximately 30 pounds of gold coins in a money belt around his waist to Copenhagen. Following the meeting he went to Switzerland, opened a numbered Swiss account, and deposited the gold coins. This was in April of 1975. This investment of approximately $3,500.00 in gold represented the total assets of the association at that time.
Eight months later the value of gold was unpegged internationally, and rapidly rose from $42.00 an ounce to $600.00 an ounce. The executive of the IAA sold their gold in 1977 when it was selling at approximately $800.00 per ounce. The profit was approximately $60,000.00, which enabled the association to hire its first Executive Director, Mr. Tom Nelson, who later left the IAA to become the executive director of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.