A Life Well Spent

      10/7/2024       Next-->

John Minshull - 24 March 1936 - 6 July 2024
We were saddened to hear of the passing of John Minshull on Saturday 6th July. Another of the giants from the Natural History Museum, and a loss to both the Museum and the environmental world in general.

John graduated from Rhodes University in 1958 as an entomologist and as a result always had an interest in all things creepy crawly.
His first job with his young wife Jacqueline was at Lake Sibaya, and in 1968 he joined National Parks and Wildlife Department as a Fish Research Officer on Lake Kariba and then Lake Kyle. He joined the Queen Victoria Museum in Harare as Ichthyologist in March 1978 after completing his Masters in Tropical Resources Ecology and in October of the same year he took over as Director.

With the restructuring of National Museums and Monuments in 1981 John stepped down as director and he, his collection and his family moved to what became the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo where both he and his wife worked as curators for many years. John took early retirement in 1992 and went teaching at CBC and consulting on farm dams and fish farms.

He then joined ACOL chemicals where he was tasked with writing up years of research while he mastered the art of typing and the ways of a computer!
John was an avid reader with many interests and his later years he was studying human evolution and bacteria!! And was a fountain of knowledge on many things. He loved jazz music and had played the double bass, collected stone age implements, loved aloes and cacti, was a Bowls Maestro, and always wore his beloved hat, long socks, and khaki.

He has a great sense of humour and conversations were always lively and centred around a beer or two!
John was best known by all for his contribution as an ichthyologist, ecologist, and fisherman with many complaints that his 'Fishes of Zimbabwe' was out of print and copies hard to find. His contribution to aquatic science was considerable, his fieldwork in Zimbabwe extensive and the size and scientific value of the museum fish collection is his legacy to the nation.

He will be missed by all, and our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers go to his daughter Pippa and his grandchildren.
A life well spent.

Extract from Matobo Conservation Society Newsletter

Watch Dog

Expert Rose Pruning Service annually in Bulawayo, tried and trusted.
Whatsapp 0776105842 or call 071263269