The Hynds of Swaziland

The Baton has reached Swaziland (06.02.2014), and our earliest connection with that country appears to be medical graduate Archibald Maclachlan, who graduated MB CM from the University in 1886. Originally from South Uist, Maclachlan became medical officer at Bremersdorp, modern day Manzini. He served under the triumvirate administration composed of the British, Dutch and Swazi (until 1894 when it came under the South African Republic as a protectorate). However, Maclachlan did not live to see the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Boer War in October 1899, as he died in 1897 at Bremersdorp, aged only 42. After the Anglo-Boer War, Swaziland became a British protectorate from 1903, gaining independence on 6 September 1968.

One family who did experience all of those political changes were the Hynd family. A family of Glasgow graduates:

David Hynd met Agnes Kanema Sharpe while they were studying for Arts degrees at the University.

Kanema Sharpe matriculation slip 1914-15 (R8/5/35/11)

Whereas Kanema enrolled at the University in 1914 and graduated MA in 1917, David  enrolled in 1913, but was not able to graduate until 1919 due to the First World War, during which his worked in Beardmore‘s munitions factory at Parkhead Forge and served in the 3rd Highland Light Infantry. With the War over, they finally married in 1918 and David continued with his studies at the University, going on to graduate BSc in 1922 and MB ChB in 1924.

Medical Final Year Dinner Books (DC225/1/22)

The couple were both ordained into the ministry and took up positions as missionaries of the Church of Nazarene stationed at Swaziland.

Kanema and David would dedicate the rest of their lives to their new homeland, and make significant contributions in the area of health, education, and religious practice. Stationed at Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital in Bremersdorp, Hynd developed what was a small mission hospital, introducing a training program for nurses along with new wards and mobile clinics, which led to the establishment of the leprosy hospital at Manzini. He also founded the Red Cross of Swaziland in 1932; served as president of the Swaziland Conference of Churches; and served as a member of the national Board of Education.

In recognition of his contributions, Hynd was awarded CBE in 1947, and with Swaziland’s independence, he was awarded the Independence Medal in 1968 and the Medal of Royal Order 1982 by King Sobhuza II. 

This pioneering couple had two children who returned for their medical degrees at the University: Dr Samuel Wilson Hynd was brought to Swaziland aged just five months, and his sister Dr Margaret Jane Sharpe Hynd was born in Swaziland. They continued (and continue today) the work of their parents in Swaziland, with Dr Samuel Hynd featuring in numerous articles for his life-long contribution to the development of health care, and the establishment of an AIDS clinic, as well as his status as first Minister of Health under Prince Makhosini from 1968 to 1972.

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1 Comment

Filed under Africa, Commonwealth of Nations

One response to “The Hynds of Swaziland

  1. Thabo Ndlela

    Dr Samuel Hynd is a great man. His family made a huge impact to Swaziland Health.

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