05 Nov

SAIRAC DREOSTI MEMORIAL LECTURE PRESENTATION 2019 by Dr. Volkmar Hasse

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DREOSTI MEMORIAL LECTURE PRESENTATION 2019

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Mr. Piet le Roux (past President of SAIRAC) said:

”It was an honour, as well as a great pleasure, to have spent some time with Dr. Volkmar Hasse.  This humble man is an archive of knowledge and experience, gained during a career spanning 40 years.  His knowledge and experience enables him to anticipate future trends and developments and make recommendations, as well as offer advice, related to important strategic technological decisions.

Dr. Hasse enjoys sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience with others.  We wish Dr. Hasse all the best for the next phase of his life – his retirement in the Philippines.”

PE SAIRAC Centre were also privileged & honoured that Dr. Dreosti’s daughter, Joan and her husband, Dr. Ian Huskisson journeyed from their home in Knysna to attend the Dr. Dreosti Memorial Lecture in Port Elizabeth.

Mike Spearpoint a SAIRAC FELLOW interviewed Joan as follows:

Joan told me her father spent much of his  time at home working late at night in his office.  Yet when I asked her about their family life she told me he was very much a committed family man and always had time for them.

He must have had a great vision blessed with a very active mind and immense concentration.

With that came a deep understanding and knowledge of the fruit/vegetable/canning and fishing industries and the dynamics driving those industries.

He must have recognized the potential for exporting South African products abroad especially prior to, during and after the 2nd WW to Europe and elsewhere. Don’t forget there was a huge shortage of ships during the war years.

One of the big drivers I imagine was the contra cyclical nature of north/ south hemispheres which fed into the cycle of growth for fruit in SA.

His research has had a huge knock on effect when one considers the expansion taken place through much of his scientific research today.

Many of us probably owe our very careers to the founding work of Dr Guido Dreosti.

Coming back to Joan. She tells a wonderful story of her father which happened immediately after the war and illustrates the high regard he was held by the international community.

He had made a huge impact during the war on ensuring the soldiers who were in the front line were adequately fed and nourished through the preservation of the food chain.

Immediately after the war he was approached by General Smuts to visit Germany and together with two others, one from the UK and one from USA was to oversee the distribution of food for the Germans who were hungry and literally starving to death.

On route via UK being a private he was informed on his arrival that only commissioned officers were allowed into Germany to assist with the feeding programme. With that he was immediately promoted from a Private to a Lt Col. Joan says she knows of no other person being promoted in this way in one day!

Another amusing anecdote was relayed when he was asked by the then Minister of Agriculture to produce a fortified bread.

Using a dehydrated concentrate of fish which was added to bread he used to bring home samples to be tasted by his family. Different mixtures de odourised were given regularly and became known as Bremer Bread.

The Bremer bread saga was in response to the then Minister of Agriculture, Mr Bremer requesting a formula be found for fortifying bread.

Things I gather came to a head however when their dog refused to eat the bread.

Joan has played an important role in the Knysna community, responsible for the establishment of the U3A or University of the 3rd Age. She is a founding and life member.

U3A is learning co-operative for people from all walks of life.

They have three children all daughters two of which reside in Cape Town and one in New Zealand

Joan is married to a medical doctor a specialist Physician. They are both involved in The Rotary club of Knysna and together operate a B and B in Knysna called Turning Tides.

GUESTS @ BEACH HOTEL: 1st row seated left to right Dr. Volkmar, Mr. Piet le Roux, Mrs. Joan Huskisson (daughter of Dr Dreosti) and her husband Dr. Ian Huskisson
DR. VOLKMAR HASSE, MRS. JOAN HUSKISSON & DR. IAN HUSKISSON chatting over snacks
DEON SCHMIDT Chairman of the PE SAIRAC Centre presenting a Welcome Gift to Joan and Dr. Huskisson
DR. VOLKMAR HASSE & DEON SCMIDT Deon presenting a thank you gift “Elephant Footprints” to Dr. Volkmar Hasse
nova
Author: nova