in East London, South Africa, to father Claude Vincent and mother Eileen
Lange Fair (nee Pascoe). Grew up in the Queenstown district on the farm
Milton, 17 miles south of the town on the Katberg road.
to school at Queen's College in Queenstown.
the South African Artillery and was posted to the East London coastal
battery, first to the 6 inch coastal guns and then to the Battery
Observation Post as a range finder.
north with the 2nd Anti-Aircraft regiment and landed at Berbera, British
Somaliland to join the Abyssinia compaign. On completion of this the
regiment moved to Eritrea where we embarked from Masawa to join the Allied
forces and the Eighth army in the Western desert.
forces pushed the Allies back to El Alamein leaving a large part of the
South African forces stranded at Tobruk, including the 2nd AntiAircraft
Regiment. Rommel's forces easily penetrated rather inadequate perimeter
defences and Vincent Whitehead with 30000 other South Africans was
captured and moved to Benghazi and then by ship to Naples and a camp at
Bari in Italy. Here they worked on various wine farms and later on a
landing strip at San Pancratsio, a small village within sight of Brindizi,
on the heel of Italy. Again they were moved, north to Laterina near
Florence and remained there until the Italian forces collapsed. German
forces then took over and they were crammed into closed cattle trucks to
the extent that not everyone could lie down at the same time. After three
days, having passed through the Brenner Pass into Germany the trucks were
opened. After several holding camps we were moved east into Upper Silesia
to work with the Poles in the coal mines at Sosnowiec.
advancing forces of Russia forced the Germans to move the prisoners of war
westwards, this time on foot until they reached the edge of the Black
Forest at Landshut in Bavaria.
by the Americans under Paton.
back in Cape Town in by ship, having spent some time in Brussels and
the Military Medal for bravery in the field and invited to an investiture
with his father at the farm near Queenstown and attended courses in Sheep
and Wool at Grootfontein Agricultural College and in Dairying at Glen
Agricultural College but in 1948 drought conditions dictated that he
should attempt to increase my earning power by getting into some other
field. His brother Graeme who had completed a B. Sc. and M. Sc.at Rhodes
University suggested Vincent do the same.
B.Sc. at Rhodes University, majoring in ........ (Honours??)
and accepted employment as an Entomologist at the Western Province Fruit
Research Station (W.P.F.R.S.) at Stellenbosch.
Shirley Inez Mallett, also of Queenstown.
M.Sc. by Rhodes University. Thesis was about biological control of
mealybug and was based on research done at the W.P.F.R.S.
a three-year Ph.D. bursary by ??. Studied at the Berkely campus of the
University of California, concentrating on the biological control of fruit
pests. His Ph.D. thesis field was the taxonomy of ladybird beetles of the
tribe Scymnini, which are the main predators of aphids, scale insects and
with research on the biological control of mealybugs on grapes with his
interest concentrated on table grapes in the Hex River valley. Here the
major obstacle to control of mealybug by natural enemies was the paucity
of coccinellids due to the heavy application of insecticides and
fungicides. The reduction of sulphur dust applications (for disease
control) to a minimum and the release of large numbers of a coccinellid
predators, reduced heavy mealybug infestation to acceptable proportions.
peach growing farmers of the Little Karoo have periodic invasions of fruit
piercing moths and heavy losses occur, particularly to the Kakamas canning
cultivars. A four year study of this problem showed that, although there
are at least four species of night flying moths that are able to pierce
the skin of most fruit, Serrodes partita was the moth that caused
most damage. Larvae of this moth feed exclusively on the Wild Plum, Pappea
capensis, but survival in large numbers is dependent on a good supply
of young foliage in their first instar. These conditions, that is a good
leaf flush, results only when effective rainfall occurs in November. Such
conditions are cyclic and occur in that area on average every eight years.
Control measures cannot be aimed at the immature stages and as only ripe
fruit is attacked no insecticides can be used in the orchards. Fortunately
adults are affected by light and are deterred by light barriers at the
Head of the Entomology Department at the Fruit Research Institute but
found that administrative work left little time for research which was not
to his liking.
to the South African Museum in 1974. He initially continued his studies in
coccinellids but changed his field of study mainly because Dr Helmut
Feurch of Germany was already an established authority in African ladybird
beetles and Dr Jerry Rosen of the American Museum, who was on a field trip
to this country, got him interested in the bee family Fideliidae.
annual field trips into Namaqualand and the then Northern Cape with Geoff
Mclachlan of the S.A. Museum Herpatology department. Geoff collected
snakes and geckos and Vincent collected beetles and bees, particularly
fideliids. On many of these trips they were accompanied by Dr Mary-Lou
Penrith and Schalk Louw of the State Museum, Windhoek, especially when
they went into the restricted diamond area of the southern Namib where
special permission had to be obtained. As Mary-Lou and Schalk were
predominantly Coleopterists most of Vincent's collections also showed this
bees of the genus Rediviva (Melittidae). In 1981 while trying to find how
early the bee Parafidelia major emerged in the Clanwilliam area, he
discovered a large black long-legged bee visiting a twin spurred Diascia
and established that it inserted the long front legs into the spurs to
collect the oil secreted there. This lead to contact with Kim Steiner of
the Botanical Research Institute at Kirstenbosch who was studying the
taxonomy of Diascia and the behaviour of the bees that pollinated
them. Diascia and several other genera in the Scrophulariaceae (Hemimeris,
Alonsoa, Bowkeria and Anastrabe as well as several genera of
the Orchidaceae produce oil which is collected by bees of the genus Rediviva.
The study of these bees and their relationships with the oil producing
plants has taken them up to the Orange River on the western part of the
country, through the great and little Karoo, and the high-lying summer
rainfall areas, including Lesotho and Swaziland, and the temperate coastal
areas of the Eastern Cape and KwazuluNatal.
but continued as Head of Entomology in the South African Museum till the
end of 1988 after which Hamish Robertson took over. Continues to work in
the department and do collaborative work with Kim Steiner on
oil-collecting bees. To date this research has resulted in 18 scientific
publications with two in press, the latest being a review of the Rediviva
species of the winter rainfall region.
|11 April 2005