2nd Ray Coggan Memorial Lecture

Report 19th October 2010 

 An Open Meeting with 32 people attending including the following lady guests:  Mrs. Coggan, Miss S. Taylor, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Wood, Mrs. Howard and Mrs. Wetherall. 

New members attending: Keith Wadd, John Dykes and Vincent Naylor.

 Mr. Stuart Tate, who has spoken at the forum more than twenty times before and therefore got to know Ray Coggan very well, then gave the memorial lecture. After paying glowing tribute to the efficiency, fellowship and good humour he encountered in his contacts with Ray, Mr. Tate then chose as his subject:

Taking The Waters in Ancient Rome.

 “I swear by Apollo the physician ……..”   So went the Hippocratic oath taken by many doctors of olden times.  Hippocrates (460 BC) was one of the first doctors to realize that disease came from physical reasons and not from gods, wizards’ curses or from witches’ spells.  He also pointed out the importance of taking healthy food and drink.  These beliefs were passed down to the citizens of ancient Rome.  One basic requirement was of course clean water and Roman engineers were adept at building aqueducts, some more than 50 miles long, to bring water to the city.  Another requirement being cereals, which were imported from North Africa. 

A far-reaching imperfection in their diet however were the traces of lead picked up from lead pipes, storage pots and lead lined drinking vessels.  This, some historians suggest, was a contributory factor in the fall of the Roman Empire.        

Mr. Tate showed some excellent photographs from his own collection and during question time he read out, in full, the Hippocratic oath.                                                                    George Mountford









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