Short Communication

Veterinary education in South Africa : the Classes of 1930 and 1931 : short historical communication

R.D. Bigalke
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 78, No 2 | a289 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v78i2.289 | © 2007 R.D. Bigalke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 June 2007 | Published: 01 June 2007

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Abstract

With only two students in the final year, the class of 1930 was the 2nd smallest in the history of the Onderstepoort Faculty. Noteworthy is that the class photograph is composed of individual shots of the graduates and that 1 photograph was taken several years after qualification. The photograph of the Class of 1931 is the more customary composite one. The Dean, Prof. P J du Toit, does not feature in either. Concise descriptions are given of the life histories of the 8 graduates. Again their careers show considerable variation. Two devoted their entire pre-retirement careers to South Africa's Division of Veterinary Services as state veterinarians, both reaching very senior positions. A third died shortly after leaving government service for private practice. None made a career out of research at Onderstepoort, although 2 had short stints at the Institute. One, said to have been the youngest veterinarian in the British Empire, spent the latter part of his relatively short life in a large Johannesburg practice as a specialist surgeon. Another was in military service for virtually his entire career. One had a very varied career, which included government service, private practice, research, public health and the pharmaceutical industry. One spent most of his impressive career in the Colonial Service in Swaziland and Tanganyika (now Tanzania) but eventually returned to private practice in South Africa, whereas another was similarly, but less conscientiously, involved in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Swaziland. Two saw military service during World War II, one as Commanding Officer of a Regiment in the South African Artillery and the other in the South African Veterinary Corps.

Keywords

1930 and 1931; Colonial Service; Graduates; Onderstepoort; Pharmaceutical Industry; Private Practice; Public Health; Scientists; State Veterinarians; Veterinary Education; World War II

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