When one reaches retirement age, we no longer keep his or her actual chronological age a secret. Therefore, I can tell you that the recipient of the Macdougall Award at this Congress is none other than our Past President and current Secretary, Dr Rupert Coles, who was born in 1910. It has been my pleasure to know and to work with Dr Coles for a considerable period of time. I am indebted, however, to his devoted wife, Peggy, and his long-time and honoured friend, Dr Bob Gordon, our Journal editor, for much of the detailed information about Dr Coles.
I have in my possession a lot of facts an details I could share with you, concerning our Award recipient. But I have elected to be somewhat discreet and not tell all that I know.
Dr Coles had an outstanding academic career. He was graduated with a baccalaureate degree, with honours, from King's College, University of London in 1931 and became a Research Scholar of King´s in 1932. He was awarded his doctorate in 1934, in Natural Sciences. Not satisfied with this he took an MSc in Economics in 1938 and MSc in Agriculture in 1949. He was awarded a Doctor of Science degree at Bonn University in 1960 and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree in Mexico in 1958.
Much of this work was done while he was employed full time in the UK Ministry of Agriculture, in the Markets Division of Eggs, later in the Land Fertility Division, and finally as Chief Poultry Advisory Officer, a post he filled with distinction from 1945 to 1969.
There is more to Rupert, however, than the race for academic honours. He took a full part in the life of King´s College and represented his University in three sports / running, boxing, and rugby football / no mean achievement. And he is still first out of the blocks at opening time! He has been awarded a number of prizes and medals, and accorded other well-deserved recognition.
Rupert, as many of his friends call him, joined the World's Poultry Science Association in 1946. He was the UK member of the Publications Committee and assisted the late Percy Blount, Dr Bob Gordon, and Dr A.W. Greenwood in forming the UK Branch of WPSA. He led the Poultry Delegation to the USA on Poultry Stock Improvement which turned out to be a a major contribution to the commercial poultry industry in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
Rupert became President of the UK Branch in 1951 and Vice President of WPSA in 1952. He was elected President at the Mexican Congress in 1958 and is now serving as an Honorary Past President. He became Secretary in 1970.
Since retirement in 1969, Rupert has been to various countries for FAO, painted, sculpted, and made reproductions of early fire-arms. He and Peggy will shortly celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.
All will agree that Rupert has done a magnificent job as our Secretary, as with all of his other posts, and has been a major influence in increasing our membership.
Rupert is a meticulous worker and never spares effort to get things right. He is a forthright speaker and is more than useful with his pen.
Rupert is always easily recognized by his bow tie and red carnation. His Churchillian Bulldog expression and his biting wit cannot hide a warm heart. The hospitality of Rupert and his wife, Peggy will long be remembered by those who have enjoyed it.
No one is a more worthy recipient of the Macdougall Medal than Dr Rupert Coles.
World's Poultry Science Journal (1978) 34(4): 196-197