TWO former Roseworthy College students have been recognised for their outstanding achievements and contributions to society since their graduation.
Gawler’s Dr Bruce Eastick was presented the first-ever ‘Roseworthy Icon’ and Reverend Brian Polkinghorne was presented the ‘Award of Merit’ by the Roseworthy Old Collegians Association recently.
Rev. Polkinghorne said the award was very unexpected and was, truly, a recognition of not only his work, but also of those who he has met throughout his life.
The now 80-year-old and his family moved to Tanzania 12 months after he completed agriculture studies at Roseworthy College in 1969.
“We went to Tanzania in 1970 with three small children, and I was teaching at a YMCA farm school; I got the job through the Tanzania Council of Churches,” he said.
“One day I went into an old storeroom and found a little box, and I cleaned it all off and found that it was a little one-heater incubator.
“It was run on kerosene, so I cleaned it up, lit it and put some eggs in it, and hey presto.”
From there, word spread and Rev. Polkinghorne increasingly received requests for kerosene- fuelled incubators, which he built alongside a small staff team.
“We were on Mount Kilimanjaro, and I was asked to go down the mountain where it was dry and harsh….to start a mini Roseworthy – a production and training centre in agriculture,” he said.
“I did that…and we built a hatchery and started making even bigger incubators; we made 1100 egg incubators (that were fuelled by) kerosene.
“We got three operating and the word spread, and so the president of the country came.
“He said to me ‘Brian, this is very good, how many chickens can you produce in a year’ and I said ‘about 50,000 to 60,000’.”
Rev. Polkinghorne said the president was impressed, and asked him if he could grow this to $1 million, which he could, but he would need electricity.
“The last time I was back (in Tanzania) was in 2012, and they have produced between 23 and 24 million chickens now,” he said.
Additionally, Rev. Polkinghorne organised and managed a major reforestation project in the country, establishing teams of people to help plant over six million trees, along with a water project to teach locals to build their own tanks, wells and pumps at affordable prices.
“A pump, on a well, for a village is normally $1000, and I can teach them to make them for $65 out of recycled materials,” he said.
Rev. Polkinghorne said, while his efforts haven’t ended poverty, he is very proud of how the initiatives have changed people’s lives.