In 1900, Dr. HENRY HOLLAND joined the Anglican medical mission
at Quetta, now in West Pakistan. He came to a small, pioneer hospital in a bleak land of
rugged mountains and parched plains, where seasonal extremes of intense heat and bitter
cold compelled the tribesmen to live a pastoral, nomadic existence.
Among the tribesmen were brigands and Muslim fanatics whose lives were given to blood
feuds, but the young medical graduate saw the courage and pathos of these independent
people and prepared himself to help them. He learned three of their languages and mastered
simple conversation in four other tongues. At the same time, he became expert in the
treatment of cataracts and eye infections that were prevalent in the area.
As the hospital's and the doctor's reputations spread, a motley "invasion" of
patients began each spring and autumn when the nomads moved to and from their pastures.
Swarthy Baluchi, wandering Brahui and tall, marauding Pathans waited their turn with
Sindhis and Punjabis who had come up from the plains. Treatment was free for the poor. A
pittance was charged those who could afford to pay a little, and even for the well-to-do
the cost was nominal.
Ten years later, Dr. HOLLAND extended his work, during the two winter months, to
Shikarpur in North Sind, starting an eye clinic that today is one of the largest in the
world. In slack periods, he made grueling journeys to encampments of tribesmen to patch up
wounds and sometimes perform delicate eye operations. Quetta, meanwhile, was growing under
his stewardship into a well-established medical and surgical center with a training school
For the HOLLANDS, medical service has since become a family tradition. Both sons became
doctors and joined their father. Harry now is continuing mission work in England among lay
Christians going abroad. RONALD has taken over as ophthalmic surgeon of the three. Like
his mother, Ronald's wife is a nurse, serving as an expert anesthetist and keeping
hospital accounts though confined by paralytic polio to a wheelchair.
Dr. RONALD HOLLAND has followed his father's example in learning the languages of the
area. Operating from early morning until nightfall during the busy seasons at Quetta and
Shikarpur, he also remembers the distant tribes. Across the Baluchistan wastelands he
travels by land rover or jeep where his father moved on horseback or by camel to bring
relief to penniless nomads.
Father and son have made significant contributions to medical science. Operating under
severe handicaps, the HOLLANDS over the years have achieved a 97 per cent success with
their eye surgery. Their methods for mass operative treatment under field conditions are
now widely studied abroad, and eye specialists from around the world have come to work and
learn at Shikarpur.
The son, like the father, has not been tempted from his chosen work in Pakistan by
attractive professional offers elsewhere. Imbued with a sure sense of vocation, the
HOLLANDS welcome to their hospitals all who come regardless of faith, and the love that
inspires their sense of public service goes out to everyone.
In electing SIR HENRY and RONALD HOLLAND to share the 1960 Ramon Magsaysay Award for
Public Service, the Board of Trustees recognizes the selfless dedication of their renowned
surgical skills to combat the blight of blindness in a remote hinterland.
In a Christian ministry of healing, they and their colleagues over the past 59 years
have restored sight to more than 150,000 nomads and plainsmen and otherwise relieved the
suffering of thousands more to whom no other help was available. Giving succor not only
through medicine and surgery but through understanding, human touch, they have cared for
all people as individuals and believed in their dignity and importance.