Wojciech Rogala (1884-1947)

Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae


By the death of Professor Wojciech Rogala the Polish science suffered a great loss. Born at Bratkowice as a son of peasant, W. Rogala received his early education at Rzeszów and then he studied geology and paleontology at the University in Lwów. Among his most respected teachers there were Zuber, Dunikowski and Siemiradzki . He obtained his doctor’s degree in 1907 and veniam legendi in geology and paleontology in 1912. As a young collegian W. Rogala was appointed assistant at the Geological Institute of the University in Lwów and continued to work faithfully in that office during 40 years until 1945, when he had moved .to Kraków. In 1912 he was appointed Assistant Professor and in 1920 Professor and Director of the Geological Institute. Professor Rogala worked eagerly to organize and accomodate the department for modern scientific researches mainly ¡n stratigraphy of Cretaceous and Tertiary. He fullfilled this splendidly. The pride of the Institute were the museum with main collection fróm Carpathian flysh and other comparative collections as well the library with many rare works. During the german occupation in spite of danger was W. Rogal a able tc guard his dear Institute and collections and defend them against the plunder and exportation. After the war he repatriated to Kraków where he was appointed Professor of Geology and Dean of Geological Faculty at Mine College. In his scientific researches was Professor Rogala always very interested in the stratigraphical problems. In the early period of his scientific activity he studied mainly stratigraphy, faunal succession and reciprocal relations in the horizons of Middle and Upper Cretaceous in Podolia, Opolia and Roztocze Higland. After publishing many minor papers and contributions, he gave us a fundamental publication on the cretaceous beds in Podolian Plateau with a critical analysis of fossil fauna of cephalopodes, and pelecypodes and a synthesis about their structural position and the zonal distribution. The studies in Roztocze Highland led him to discovery of sandstones with oligocene fauna of pelecypodes which has many forms common with Oligocene of England and North Germany. But already during the podolian researches Professor Rogala was attracted by yet in this time very mysterious Carpathian Mountains. Then he devoted himself for those mountains. There were many stratigraphical problems in carpathian flysh not solved on account of great poverty of fossils. But W. Rogala looked above all for fossil records as points of support for stratigraphy of flysh and searched for faunal succession. He showed the fossils could be found when barefully looking for. He discovered a great number of points with fossil fauna in many different beds and in many localities in Eastern and Central Carpathians. So he gathered, with collaboration of his pupils, á great precious material which self prepared for studies and determination. He published 24 papers about the stratigraphy of flysh and gave many lists of cretaceous and paleogene fossils, mainly pelecypodes and gastropodes. Publishing partial results of his studies, professor Rogala ceased not to work on great monography of the fossil fauna in Carpathian flysh and he made many journeys to France, Switzerland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Romania and other countries for comparative studies. But the death stopped unfortunately his work. Professor Roga l a was also very interested'in the problems of oil geology. He recognised and studied nearly all oil fields in Poland and became experienced and estimable expert. He recovered several new fields and over hundred new drillings which he has marked but gave oil or gas production. So he is well merited for development of our oil industry. Many time devoted W. Rogala for organisation of science. Throughout his life he was keenly interested in the wellbeing of scientific societies, to whose wellfare he gave great help and active support. He established in 1923 the Section of the Polish Geological Society in Lwow and headed them ten years. He rendered very valuable services. He organized four of meetings geologists with excursions to Podolia, Opolia, Volhynia and Eastern Carpathians. 1947 short before the death he was elected President of the Polish Geological Society. 1911 — 1947 professor Rogala was also member of the Council of the Polish Copernic Society of Naturalists and 1946 he was elected President of the Society. Professor W. Rogala was for his pupils a true and faithfull friend. He had them many and all loved him. Numerous of them now occupy prominent posts. He was a man of great personality and charm, companable and cheerfull, a plaisant gentleman generally beloved. Sincerely and deeply loved the fatherland and was definite and firm in his attiitude before the german invaders. On 4-the May 1947 he passed away at Kraków — geological science to lose an prominent worker, the country a true citizen and the pupils their beloved and not to be forgotten master.

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