Paget's Progress: A Tale of High Adventure and Low Salaries

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AuthorHouse, Aug 23, 2007 - Travel - 516 pages
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Paget’s Progress is the true story of a man emerging from humble beginnings to a life packed with adventure and variety in Africa. Dick’s varied career has included being an army Medic; running a rehabilitation centre for army casualties; outward bound centres and managing a security firm in Malawi. His story is told with humour, excitement and pathos; making it a thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable read.


Despite his humble upbringing Dick discovered that he had an uncanny ability to influence people and events; a natural gift that escapes his comprehension to this day. However it is a factor that becomes increasingly more apparent as his life unfolds.


Dick’s story weaves through his childhood during the Second World War, his education, friendships, sporting activities and conscription into the RAF; each anecdote unfolding in a self deprecating style. After being accepted by the Rhodesian Army Medical Corps, Dick travelled to Africa.


From here on Dick treats the reader to a non-stop series of events that encompass just about every aspect of human experience, and the variety of his work experience and interests make it all the more intriguing. This idyllic lifestyle stops abruptly when Robert Mugabe comes to power in 1980. Dick did not get on at all well with Mugabe’s interpretation of freedom, and not overly enthusiastic at the prospect of spending a few years in a Zimbabwe jail, the Pagets fled to South Africa.


From there the story tells the highs and lows of his family’s nomadic times in South Africa, Scotland, Malawi and again in Zimbabwe before returning to England where they now live – for the moment. When the reader turns over the last page there will be the inescapable feeling that the Paget’s have truly lived and enriched countless lives along the way.

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About the author (2007)

Dick Paget is a Yorkshireman born in 1933.


Brought up in England and then spending much of his life in Africa, he has experienced a uniquely rich tapestry of life. After leaving school at fourteen; Dick worked in a flour mill and the Inland Revenue before joining the RAF where he trained as a medic. The experience of field and air crash casualties proved invaluable when he went out to join the Federal Army in Central Africa where he became Chief Instructor at the Rhodesian Army Medical School.


During the Rhodesian war Dick and his wife, Anne, came up with the idea of a rehabilitation centre for wounded army veterans in Inyanga, the beautiful Rhodesian Eastern Highlands. Tsanga Lodge proved hugely successful and an essential part of the army. When Mugabe came into power bringing a new political era; a change in basic ideals and attitudes towards the type of rehabilitation Tsanga should be offering came with it. This was unacceptable to Dick and this together with him “decking” one of Mugabe’s officers forced the Pagets to depart Tsanga to look for other opportunities both in Africa and the UK.


Dick has influenced and inspired countless people with his enthusiasm, wit and ability to identify with and relate to anyone. His love of the outdoors and sports has led him amongst other things to be a successful middleweight weightlifter; runner of over twenty marathons (all in late middle age) and a competent mountain climber. Whilst training, Dick became interested in snakes and became something of a recognised authority on both the subject and on the treatment of snakebite. He has also been actively involved in entertaining on stage and television, and this interest still continues.


He and Anne now live in Northumberland and have two sons and one grandson.

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