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As our relationship evolved over the years he became a mentor and grandfather figure to me.
During his service, he became friends with a chaplain who had known Emperor Haile Selassie while he lived in exile in Great Britain during the 1936 Fascist occupation of Ethiopia.Thompson became an intimate friend of the Emperor, whom he respected, and a confidante and mentor to the royal family, who referred to him as , a term of respect and endearment.One project that greatly pleased the Emperor was Thompson’s proposal to build a leprosarium for the Arise people in the Rift Valley in Shashamane, one of the most under developed areas of Ethiopia.He used to say that it is the teachers who loved Ethiopia that were very effective as opposed to those who had a lot of degrees — he was very attentive to culture and human relationship.The Emperor, a devout Christian and head of the Office of the Ethiopian Coptic Church, quickly felt a bond with Thompson and gave him freedom to tackle the tasks that Thompson felt were a priority.(Photo courtesy of the author) Tadias Magazine Op-Ed By Dr. But I never expected that one of my strongest connections would be a retired Canadian, a former teacher, missionary, and politician. Robert (Bob) Thompson’s name likely recall him as a politician and former leader of the Social Credit.
Fikre Germa Updated: December 15th, 2017 Ontario, Canada (TADIAS) — In 1988, I arrived in Vancouver anxious to find a way to continue my medical studies and establish myself as a physician. Few know that between 19 he helped Ethiopia rebuild, or that he later befriended and mentored young Ethiopian immigrants in British Columbia.
Within a few years, there were millions of Rhode Island Red chickens throughout southern Ethiopia.
The Emperor was pleased and joined the lepers in nicknaming Thompson, , Father of the Chickens.
On one trip to Alberta he purchased twenty eggs of certified Rhode Island Reds and carried them in a basket for more 24 hours in his flight back to Addis Ababa.
At the leprosarium, he gave four eggs to five families from the hospital and village.
Herein, Thompson was able to integrate his philosophy of having government agencies work together with non-governmental agencies to achieve a common goal.