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Mollie Clark - TLM Hero

A photo from the late 1980s/early 1990s of a woman with short grey hair in a white shirt

Mollie Clark trained initially as a nurse and midwife, and undertook further training in tropical diseases in Liverpool and at Redcliffe Bible School, both in England, before setting sail for India in 1961.

When she arrived, Molly took the position of Nurse in Charge at the biggest leprosy home and hospital in India, Purulia. She attended language school in Darjeeling, learning to speak Bengali so that she could communicate well with her patients and colleagues.

Seven years later, in 1968, the Government of Bhutan asked The Leprosy Mission to run a programme of leprosy control in Bhutan. The Mission Secretary for South East Asia, Dr. V.P. Das, asked Mollie if she would be prepared to move to Bhutan to take charge. It was a challenge Mollie accepted, taking her dog and getting to work learning the tonal language, Bhutanese. She did her job very well and was very respected. She was completely immersed – arranging weddings and other key events for the people she’d seen grow up.

Mollie had huge admiration for the people she worked alongside in Bhutan, saying "The biggest heroes I can think of are the paramedical workers who worked in Bhutan, and spent their days walking up and down the mountains, treating leprosy patients. They did so much walking that they wore their shoes out in three months, and needed new ones."

Mollie remained in Bhutan until 1984, by which time the Government of Bhutan was almost ready to take over the programme. When she returned to the UK, Mollie was appointed Director for Personnel at The Leprosy Mission International in Brentford, where she remained until her retirement in 1994.