residents of Mombasa will remember Roland Minor as our very
competent Veterinary Surgeon in the 1970s and that our pets’
ailments were treated and their injections given at his surgery
located where Kenya Ports Authority’s Bandari College and
Hostel now stand, writes Andrew Burnard.
Those of us who
knew him a little better remember his enthusiastic support of
and participation in the activities of the Little Theatre Club,
the Mombasa Yacht Club and, in those days, of the Mombasa Club.
remember his skill as a raconteur when he recalled in
personal conversations his experiences in his career as
a Vet, not only in East Africa but in various other
Countries around the World.
has now been persuaded by Commander Barry Mitchell, a
long time friend, to tell a wider audience of these
experiences and he has included them in his
autobiography which has recently been published with the
title of “A Lot of Loose Ends : a Vet in Africa”.
book takes us from his birth in Argentina early in1939,
as one of twin brothers, through his education there and
in the U.K. and then as a practising Veterinary Surgeon
in several African and other Countries.
course of his travels he was closely involved with an
epidemic of rabies in Kenya as a result of which he
calculates that he saw and reported on more cases of
rabies than had been documented anywhere in the World in
previous years. His accounts of how some people
reacted when their pet dogs contracted the disease are
both funny and alarming at the same time.
Veterinarian Roland Minor
As a result of dealing with foot and mouth disease in cattle in
Africa he volunteered his services to the UK Authorities when an
outbreak of this disease occurred in UK in 2001 and his account
of how, after travelling there at his own expense, his services
were then utilised in fighting the outbreak, which was
eventually estimated to have cost Britain USD 16 billion, makes
In the course
of his career he has worked with, or for, several International
Organisations and in the book he records and makes clear the
shortcomings of several of these organisations.
In addition he
makes revealing and well based comments about the way in which
animal health issues were dealt with in those Countries in which
he has worked.
The reader is
left hoping that the book will be read by the employees of all
these organisations and authorities and that they may take on
board the conclusions to be drawn from his comments.
over the years, contributed technical papers to learned
veterinary bodies on his research and practical experience with
animal diseases and it has just been announced that, in
recognition of his lifetime commitment in this field, he has
been awarded the prestigious Trevor Blackburn Award for 2013 by
the British Veterinary Association for his outstanding
contribution to animal health and welfare in Africa.
think that this account of researching and treating animal
diseases in Africa will make for heavy reading because this is
very far from the case.
writing is fluent and the softback book itself very well printed
and it is altogether a pleasure to read.
It may be
recommended to all people with lively minds and particularly to
those people with an interest in Africa.
“A Lot of
Loose Ends : a Vet in Africa” (ISBN 978 909304 05 5) is
published by Memoirs Publishing, www.memoirspublishing.com
and is available through Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com,
Barnes and Noble, Waterstones, W.H. Smiths, Google Books and,
hopefully, Kenya based bookshops in the near future.