Short Communication

Veterinary education in South Africa : the Classes of 1928 and 1929 : short historical communication

R.D. Bigalke
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 77, No 4 | a372 | DOI: | © 2006 R.D. Bigalke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 June 2006 | Published: 11 June 2006

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The available photographs of the Classes of 1928 and 1929 are confusing because they not only bear the same date (1929) but are also composed of individual shots of the graduates rather than the customary group photograph. An answer to the riddle was provided by the presence of J A Thorburn (a member of the Class of 1927) who was a 'super' and qualified in 1928, in the one photograph, together with MC Robinson who also graduated in 1928. The photograph dated 1929 on which 4 graduates and the Dean, Prof. Dr P J du Toit, appear is that of the Class of 1928.The other photograph dated 1929 in which the Dean is absent is therefore dated correctly. Concise descriptions are given of the life histories of the nine graduates. Their careers show considerable variation. Only one of them spent his entire career at the Onderstepoort Research Institute as a very eminent research scientist and professor, and two became well-known professors at the Onderstepoort Faculty. Two were in municipal service for most of their careers and a third ended up working for a municipal authority after spending some time in England and at the Onderstepoort Research Institute. Two spent virtually their entire careers in the field as state veterinarians and a third farmed for most of his career, although he also dabbled in private practice and managed one of the provincial game parks in Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) for some time. Four served in the South African Veterinary Corps during World War II.


1928 And 1929; Graduates; Onderstepoort; Municipal Veterinarians; Scientists; State Veterinarians; Veterinary Education; World War II


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