ROBERT (BOB) ALLEN ASHDOWN (72), an architect, who served the Anglican Diocese of S.W. Tanganyika 1963-64, died on July
24. He had worked in Comworks and for a time was Acting Chief Architect. In 1971 he designed the monument to commemorate 10 years of independence which stands in the Mnazi Mmoja area of Dar es Salaam. He returned to the UK in 1971 -Canon Paul R Hardy.
SIR VIVIAN FUCHS (91) the geologist/explorer who has just died was with Dr Louis Leakey in 1931 during his famous research into the origins of man in the Olduvai Gorge. In 1934 Fuchs carried out a geological survey of the Njorowa Gorge before moving to Kenya to carry out the first scientific survey of Lake Rudolph.
BRIAN HODGSON CMG (83) who died on October 2 served in the administration in Tanganyika/Tanzania from 1939 to 1962. He was Secretary of the Legislative Council in 1945. As DC Musoma in 1952 he was involved in the chieftainship dispute in Zanaki which occurred between Chief Ihunyo Monge a traditionalist and famed rain maker and a group (including the late Edward Wanzage, the half brother of Julius Nyerere), who wanted to move the Zanaki chiefdom ahead in terms of education and development. On the day that Mwalimu came home to Musoma from his degree course in Edinburgh, there was a serious riot between the parties in Zanaki during which the police fired shots in the air and there followed a rain of spears from Ihunyo supporters. Brian Hodgson grabbed Edward Wanzagi out of the melee and contributed to saving his life. They remained in close contact for many years afterwards. From 1958 to 1962 Hodgson served as Director of Establishments in Dar es Salaam. On his return to Britain he was employed by the Red Cross (as Director General from 1970-75) and was awarded its highest decoration the Henry Dounant award.
CHARLES INNES (KIM) MEEK CMG (79) played a crucial role in Tanganyika’s smooth progress to self-government. He acted as Julius Nyerere’s Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Cabinet in the run-up to independence in 1961. Afterwards he became, for one year, the first post-colonial head of the country’s Civil Service. Together with Governor Richard Turnbull and Mwalimu Nyerere they crafted the new constitution preparatory to the Lancaster House conference in 1960 which paved the way for independence. Nyerere would often drop in on the Meek household after supper to discuss progress. Before this Meek spent had some 15 years in administration in the then Northern Province. After leaving Tanganyika he became Chief Executive of the British White Fish Authority (Thank you Christine Lawrence and Randal Sadleir for sending the obituary in The Times from which this has been taken -Editor).
LT. COL. PETER MOLLOY OBE. MC (85) who died on August 24 became in 1954 the first Director of National Parks in Tanganyika and established new parks at Lake Manyara and on the eastern side of Mount Meru.
ZUBERI MTEMVU, the veteran opposition politician, died on September 20. He was leader of the African National Congress (ANC) party in Tanganyika and stood against Julius Nyerere in the presidential election in 1962.
AMBASSADOR AMON NSEKELA (69) died on September 21 following a stroke. He had been Permanent Secretary in four ministries, and was the first chairman and Managing Director of the National Bank of Commerce for many years from 1967. He was also first Chairman of the Council of the University of Dar es Salaam, the National Insurance Corporation, the Institute of Finance Management, TANESCO, the National Development Corporation and the National Development Fund. He was Permanent Secretary in four ministries. He was also High Commissioner for Tanzania in London from 1974 to 1981. He wrote the Nsekela Report on ‘Salaries in the Civil Service’ and several other publications including ‘Minara (Pillars) ya Historia ya Tanzania’, ‘Tanganyika hadi (till) Tanzania’, ‘Demokrasi Tanzania’, and ‘Tumetoka Mbali’ (We have come from far). Amon Nsekela was instrumental in the founding of the Britain-Tanzania Society.
PROF. GERALD WEBBE (70) a world authority on schistosomiasis (bilharzia) who died recently did much of his earliest research at the East African Institute of Medical Research in Mwanza. He was the biologist and assistant director there from 1958. His studies on the epidemiology of transmission of the disease in Sukumaland helped to lay the foundations for a number of WHO control projects.
PROF FERGUS WILSON CBE (91) started his career as an agricultural officer in Zanzibar in the fifties and was awarded an MBE for his work in helping the people of Zanzibar to become self supporting and avoid starvation during the Second World War following the cessation of rice imports from Burma. In 1952 he became Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at Makerere which trained many of the graduates who later took top jobs in the Tanzanian government.