October 1979, matric done and dusted, but no long summer holiday was to be had as I started work at the Department of Health: Provincial Laboratory for Tissue Immunology (Tygerberg Hospital branch), on the 1 December 1979! Qualifying with a National Diploma in Blood Transfusion Technology II (1983), I worked for PLTI at their branch at the UCT Medical School (Falmouth Building). A few years later, a position was advertised to manage the Histology laboratory for Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, UCT. I had a keen interest in Forensics, possibly influenced by my parents.
In the year of 1989, the Head of the Department, Professor G Knobel’s, dream came true to start a Histology laboratory. At the time, the histology of medico-legal autopsies was done at the SAIMR Orange Street Laboratories at Hiddingh campus, UCT.
So, before I knew it, I was in charge of a Histology laboratory that did not “exist”. The laboratory was to be housed in Falmouth building. It was designed from scratch by myself, with the assistance of the Chief Medical Histotechnologist of the Orange Street Histology laboratory. I did my practical training in Histopathology, at this Institute and the Anatomical Pathology Laboratory, UCT.
By 1992 the laboratory was fully functional and one technologist, me………………………
………………………….. until 2011 when another medical technologist was employed.
As time went by, there was a need for a larger laboratory.
|Organised chaos until 2012|
Under the new Head of Division, Professor LJ Martin, space was allocated for the new laboratory, in Falmouth Building. It was designed mostly by myself and my colleague, Mrs Y Davies. It took about 4 years to become a reality. By early 2013 we moved into the new laboratory.
And now, lucky number 3, back to the drawing board, as a new Histology laboratory will be incorporated into the Observatory Forensic Pathology Institute. I have been in Falmouth Building for 36 years. Going on for 40 years with the Department of Health and 30 years in Forensic Medicine.