On May 18 , 1959, Their Imperial Majesties
awarded diplomas to students who graduated
from the Haile Selassie I Medical College
and Training Center in Gondar. Below is the
reply of His Imperial Majesty to the speeches
of H.E. Ato Abebe Retta, Minister of Public
Health and of Dr. Brooks Ryde r, Director
Of the College:
"When We laid the foundation for the progress and
development of the country, the fact that granted the
Constitution is in order to strengthen unity so that our
country will be built around the idea of one Emperor and
one Government in which everyone will be conscious of
his duty based upon the principle of one for all and all
for one. We have chosen education as Our primary
concern because we believe that it is the instrument
by which Our aims could be brought to fruition.
The spirit of unity within Ethiopia around one
Emperor emanated from the people of Begemder, and
their patriotic efforts have been crowned with laurels.
We have made it Our constant concern to help them in
their quest for learning for which We have established
the various schools and institutions of learning. Through
education one can keep himself healthy; he can
acquire the knowledge of many other things; but without
health, education and growth of a population are
unattainable. Today when We present you with these
certificates of accomplishment, Our heart over-flows with
Now that you are to begin the medical and health
profession, We recommend that you work diligently,
for treatment and cure alone is not enough for a country,
prevention is also necessary. The Amhara race must
know that it is an obligation on its part to work in the
technical field, no matter at what level. To preserve
the heritage of one's honour and culture is praiseworthy,
but to exceed the limits may prove detrimental.
We have ventured to say this because it has come to
Our knowledge that there exists here scorn for labour.
We have come here after having laid the foundation stones
for the establishment of a textile factory, a hydroelectric
plant and for a bridge in the development of highways in
order to help in the advancement of the people of
Begemder and Gojjam. Unless the people benefit
through work Our efforts and thoughts will have been in
vain. They will have also violated the wish of the Almighty
that by one's toil he must earn his living. Much cannot
be accomplished in the pursuit of spiritual advancement,
let alone that of material gains, without the help of
technology. Learn! Work! We have established community
education so that both the youth and the adult
may learn. Education and the quest for knowledge
stop only at the grave.
We wish to express Our thanks to the teachers of the
Health College, to the International Cooperation
Administration, to Dr. Haldor Larsen of WHO, Mr.
Hans Ehrenstrale of UNICEF. We are pleased with
the detailed speech of Our Minister of Public Health."
Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie Ist Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions - page 129 - & Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie - page 12 –