Saving Lives in Developing Countries. Charity Number 1081630

Dr Robert Bratman, our first volunteer

RBratman 0598

I spent my professional life as a Gynaecologist/Obstetrician in California  and I retired in 1994, moving with my Welsh wife to Aberdare, in Wales, her birthplace.  I first joined Rotary in Sunnyvale, California, in 1960.  Before that, as a schoolboy, I was a “Junior Rotarian” and I had once met Paul Harris when he visited our sponsoring Rotary Club in Peoria, Illinois.  I joined the Rotary Club of Aberdare in 1994 and shortly after I joined, one of the members mentioned a new project, a  Rotary Doctor Bank.  As well as my medical background, I had some organizational experience, so I sent my CV to George Mercer, then Chair of our infant Doctor Bank committee.  George asked me if I would like to go to Africa  and I said yes.  However, at that stage, our committee had not vetted any hospitals in Africa who might need someone like me.  Thus it was that I was seconded to the Swedish Rotary Doctor Bank (the pattern for RIBI Doctor Bank) and served as Consultant Gynaecologist/Obstetrician at a hospital on the island of Pemba, off the east coast of Africa between Tanzania and Zanzibar. I spent 7 weeks on Pemba in spring, 1995 and I have fond memories of my time there.

 After my “tour” I served as a medical advisor on the Committee for close to 15 years and I am very pleased to see that RIBI’s Doctor Bank is doing so well 20 years on.

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