Gangtok: November 30, 2011
One of the most outstanding sons of the queen of the hills, Darjeeling Dr. Tsewang Yishey Pemba (79-year) breath his last at Siliguri on 26th November 2011.
After passing out from Victoria School, Kurseong in the year 1948, he joined St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling. Thereafter, he joined University College, London to pursue his career in medicine. He became the first hill student to receive a British Medical Degree in 1955. He had so much love for the hills; he returned back to Darjeeling and served in the government hospitals of Kalimpong in 1956, though he had offers to work in UK. He also worked in DDMA Hospital, Darjeeling which was run by the Indian Tea Association. He also worked as a part time volunteer for the Tibetan Refugee School and the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre at Darjeeling. He was in great demand that Royal Government of Bhutan requisitioned his services and he founded the first hospital in Paro in Bhutan. He was one of the three doctors in the whole of Bhutan during 1956-58.
Pemba returned to London to become a surgeon where he was awarded the Hallett Prize for standing first in the examination of the Royal College of Surgeons, England. In 1967, he obtained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeon, the first person from the region to do so. After that he returned Darjeeling to work as the Superintendent and PMO. He used to treat hosts of patients from Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal and was very popular amongst the Sikkimese patients. Dr. Pemba also worked as the Superintendent of the National Referral Hospital, Thimpu, Bhutan and the Chief Surgical Consultant and a United Nations Examining Physician. He retired from service in 1992.
He has following publications to his credit, ‘’Young Days in Tibet’’ (1956) “Idols on the Path” and also “Tibet in the year of the Dragon ” also translated in French and German, and is believed to be the first novel written by a person from the Himalayas.
His funeral will be held at his Darjeeling residence on Thursday the 1st Dec 2011.