Hon Derek Bryceson MP

Name ID 80

See also

Johnston, Erika The other side of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 110
Extract Date: 1950's

Managing two farms

As Michael got more and more involved in the Flying Doctor Service and spent most of his time out of Nairobi, the Woods decided to sell their Limuru farm and base themselves at 0l Molog. They had owned Engushai adjoining us for a number of years, running it under management, and now bought Derek Bryceson's farm next to it.

When Sue took over the management of these two farms, most people were rather sceptical. Certainly there were a number of women in East Africa who successfully ran farms, but on the whole they were tough and had been brought up to it. Sue with her deceptive gentleness, tolerance and slightly ethereal quality, was hardly the person to be in charge of a labour force of Africans, who tend to treat their own women like chattels and do not on the whole like European women to be in authority over them. But the doubting Thomases had obviously discounted the steel in two generations of missionaries, whose hardships and frustrations in the Congo, where Sue was born, and tenacity to overcome them, would consider running two farms a comparatively easy challenge, and Sue moved into her new role with remarkable concentration and effect.

Extract ID: 4460

See also

Johnston, Erika The other side of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 014c
Extract Date: 1951

Derek Bryceson

Derek Bryceson, a future Minister of the Independent Government of Tanzania, was another of the original 0l Mologans. He has partially paralyzed legs through damage to his nervous system at the base of his spine, where he was wounded while on an operational flight in the R.A.F. He was told he would never walk again, but with sheer determination and guts, Derek got himself out of a wheel chair on to crutches, and now with a walking stick manages to be extremely mobile. With Byronic dark hair and a debonair air, during those initial years at Ol Molog, he was totally flippant and showed little signs of a serious side to his nature. He is also as stubborn as a mule with a frightening ability of ignoring detail.

Extract ID: 4448

See also

Nchi Yeti / Our Land.

Minister for Health and Labour

Minister for Health and Labour. Mr. Derek Noel Maclean Bryceson, 38, a farmer, came to Tanganyika from Kenya in 1952. Educated at Trinity College Cambridge, he served in the Royal Air Force during the war. Formerly Asst. Minister for Social Services (1957) and Minister for Mines and Commerce (1959).

Extract ID: 132

See also

Douglas-Hamilton, Iain and Oria Among the Elephants

Derek Bryceson

the new Director of National Parks

Extract ID: 133

See also

Turner, Kay Serengeti Home
Page Number: 201c
Extract Date: 1972

Derek Bryceson

a former Minister of Agriculture, was appointed Director [of Parks]

Extract ID: 134

See also

Guardian (UK)
Extract Author: Robin McKie
Extract Date: 1999 September 26

Jane's fighting chimps

Her studies have redefined mankind's image of itself and our relationship to the ape. She is in an academic class of her own, yet never took a degree. Now her new book reveals how she fell in love... with chimpanzees

It was October 1960, and the rainy season had come to Gombe, in Tanzania, covering the reserve in a soft, green carpet of new grass. A slight, blonde young woman was tramping through the forest. She had been searching - in vain - for chimpanzees to study until she encountered a single male squatting beside the red mound of a termite nest. The young primatologist watched carefully until, in front of her astonished eyes, the chimp - christened David Greybeard because of his white-tufted chin - took a twig, bent it, shaped it, and then carefully stuck it into the nest from which he began to spoon termites into his mouth.

It was one of the defining moments of modern science. Jane Goodall had observed a creature, other than man, in the act not just of using tools, but of making one. 'It was hard for me to believe,' she recalls in her autobiography, Reason for Hope, which is to be published by Warner Books next week. 'It had long been thought that we were the only creatures on Earth that used and made tools.' Now mankind knew differently.

Goodall telegrammed her boss, the renowned fossil-hunter Louis Leakey (father of Richard), with the news. He responded, in triumph: 'We must now redefine man, redefine tools, or accept chimpanzees as humans.' In fact, Goodall had done all three, though it is really the first on this list that she will always be remembered for. Thanks to her endeavours, science has had to completely reappraise our ideas about human nature - 'one of the great achievements of twentieth-century scholarship', as Stephen Jay Gould puts it. The accomplishment is all the more remarkable because it is the handiwork of a person who lacked any academic training, who had grown up in middle-class gentility in the Thirties when women were expected to be wives and little else, and who was armed only with a fierce certainty that she wanted to study animals.

Nonetheless, over the past four decades, Goodall - who was 65 this year - has produced a body of work that has permanently changed our self-image. Every piece of behaviour thought to be the exclusive, exalted prerogative of humans has since been observed by Goodall in the chimpanzee: tool-making, cannibalism, imperialism, political chicanery, adolescence, strong mother-child bonding and even genocide. Good and evil are not aspects of the soul, but are bits of behavioural baggage that we have carried with us for the past five million years, back to the days when we shared a common, ape-like ancestor with the chimpanzee.

Even more remarkable is the fact that these revelations were made in extraordinarily primitive conditions. Just to follow her 'prey', Goodall has had to scrabble over forbidding terrain, fight off tsetse flies, and survive the occasional enraged attentions of top-ranking male chimps. One of her students was killed in a cliff fall, and another four were kidnapped - though later released - by local gunmen. Only an individual driven by blind ambition, perhaps to exorcise the ghosts of childhood insecurities, would surely endure such privations?

Yet Goodall's past seems to have blissfully happy, having been spent at Birches, a large, nineteenth-century house in Bournemouth, the household firstly being ruled by her maternal grandmother, and then her mother, Vanne - the only note of discord being the latter's divorce from Goodall's father, a man she had hardly seen during the war years. She was clearly an intelligent girl, and did well at school, but found university fees prohibitive. So Goodall went to London where she trained as a secretary, read poetry and took classes in theosophy. (Her writing still has an intense, spiritual and religious leaning.) Then an invitation to visit an old friend in Kenya provided a crucial catalyst.

In Nairobi, she met Louis Leakey, the scientist whose palaeontological discoveries had finally proved mankind's roots were African, not Asian, as had previously been supposed. Leakey was now looking for a woman to study chimpanzees in the wild and to find evidence of their close ancestry to humanity. Goodall fitted his requirements precisely. As a woman, she was blessed, he believed, with a more empathetic nature than a man, and would be more acceptable to wild chimpanzees. In addition, she perfectly fitted another requirement: she came 'with a mind uncluttered and unbiased by theory', as Goodall states herself.

But there was more, as Goodall most certainly does not state. The sight of this lithe, pretty, hazel-eyed, 23-year-old stirred the Leakey loins in no uncertain manner, and the old roué - although married with three children - bombarded the young Goodall with protestations of his love. She was horrified, rejected all his advances and has since made little mention of them. By contrast, Virginia Morell's official biography of the Leakey clan makes much of the relationship and even notes that Louis - having failed with the daughter - then turned his attention's Goodall's mother, staying with her when he was in England and accompanying her to concerts. This liaison led to the rumour that still has wide currency in the world of fossil science: that Jane was really Leakey's daughter, and is therefore the half-sister of Richard Leakey. It's not true, but it does show that scientists at least enjoy as good a gossip as the rest of us.

Not long after she set up her research camp at Gombe, Goodall was visited by a young National Geographic photographer Hugo van Lawick. They fell in love and married in 1964, producing their son, Hugo, in 1967. van Lawick came from old European aristocratic lineage and the marriage was probably doomed from the start. Birute Galdikas, another of Leakey's monkey ladies (she lived with and studied orang-utans in Borneo) recalls visiting the Goodalls and finding 'the baron' to be 'distant, aloof and pre-occupied', although always 'poised and elegant' like a true aristocrat. By contrast, Goodall would wear a parka jacket to official functions, and put Grub (as Hugo junior has always been known) and chimpanzees before all else. (Galdikas also recalls that Goodall told her she had learned a lot about child-raising from mother chimpanzees, who do not punish errant offspring, but merely try to distract them.) Goodall eventually divorced van Lawick and remarried, to Derek Bryceson, a former fighter pilot and by then director of Tanzania's national parks. A calm, good-humoured and rather glamorous figure, he was clearly the love of Goodall's life, and his painful death in 1978 - from cancer - left her devastated.

It was during all these tribulations that Goodall made her great observations of chimpanzee behaviour, though her work was not without criticism: the way she christened each of her primate subjects - Greybeard, Flo, Passion, Figan, Goliath and, of course, Leakey - enraged scientific purists who accused Goodall of the heinous crime of anthropomorphism. In other words, in giving chimps human names, she was by implication also giving them human attributes.

In fact, her observations revealed key differences, as well as similarities, between ourselves and chimps. The latter do not form strong male-female pair bonds like men and women, for example. Nevertheless, Goodall's books, In the Shadow of Man and Through a Window, paint vivid, poignant portraits of creatures that are tantalisingly close to ourselves but, lacking the human attribute of complex language, are forever 'trapped within themselves' and who are now at the mercy of modern man. Human predations - in particularly the environmental devastation we cause through the spread of farming and which so seriously threatens the last few of enclaves of chimpanzees in the world - are now Goodall's prime concern, and her work is dedicated to reversing this damage and in trying to protect the creatures with whom her name is irrevocably linked.

They are, after all, our closest kin, a relationship that we now understand in a way that was never dreamt of before the arrival of Jane Goodall.

Jane Goodall

Born: 3 April 1934, London

Family: Married (twice): to Hugo van Lawick (one son, Hugo), and Derek Bryceson

Subject: Chimpanzees (aka Pantroglodytes schweinfurthii)

Hon degree: Ethology (Cambridge)

Books: Reason for Hope: A Spritiual Journey (with Phillip Berman), Through a Window, Chimpanzees of Gombe

Favourite read: Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan books

Extract ID: 1479

See also

BBC Radio
Extract Author: Jane Goodall

Derek Bryecson

Radio 4, Roots and Shoots 1998

Derek Bryecson came to Tanzania after the war. Paralysed from the waist down. Met Jane Goodall. Was an MP and Minister, and Director of National Parks.

Extract ID: 131
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