||Over the Christmas
break in 1972, in freezing London, a time when most good Englishmen seem to
find a reason to stay away from work, I was flipping through some old
British Medical Journals and discovered the papers of the great New Zealand
epidemiologist, Ian Prior. I soaked up his studies in Polynesian populations
in New Zealand and the Pacific islands (17).
My boss in
Australia, prior to my departure, was the late Pincus Taft. He had a
substantial private practice that included the then President of Nauru, His
Excellency Hammer DeRoburt. Fascinated by Priorís work, I contacted Pincus
suggesting that we should try and set up a diabetes survey in Nauru. That
activity became the focus of my attention when I returned to Melbourne. By
1975 we were all set to go to undertake the first population based study of
diabetes in the Micronesian population of Nauru (18).