Short Communication

Veterinary education in South Africa : the class of 1927 : short historical communication

R.D. Bigalke
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 76, No 3 | a412 | DOI: | © 2005 R.D. Bigalke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 June 2005 | Published: 14 June 2005

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R.D. Bigalke,

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Joan Morice, a member of the class of 1927, broke the tradition of male student domination at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Faculty, but it took almost 20 years before other young ladies started following her courageous example. The accompanying photograph is unusual in the sense that the students appear in their then customary white coats instead of graduation regalia and that their dean is absent. Concise descriptions are given of the life histories of the 8 graduates. Their careers show more variation than in previous years. Only 1 of them spent his entire career at the Onderstepoort Research Institute and its Faculty, whereas another left the Institute after several years for a well-known pharmaceutical company in the United Kingdom. Although 1 entered private practice shortly after qualifying, she did not make it her permanent career and sadly died at the early age of 44. Another made the move from the field into private practice fairly late in his productive life. One left South Africa to spend most of his career in the Colonial Service in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and later even joined the FAOin Rome. Two spent their entire careers in the field as state veterinarians - 1 died at the age of only 43 - and a third moved from the field to a locally-based pharmaceutical company.


1927; 1st Female Graduate; Colonial Service; Graduates; Onderstepoort; Pharmaceutical Industry; Scientists; State Veterinarians; Veterinary Education


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