During my third year as an undergraduate reading Zoology at Cambridge, I found a relatively large parasite inside one of the Asellus aquaticus that had been allocated to me for the afternoon's practical work. After we had failed to identify even the group of animals to which it belonged, someone suggested that I should take my find to The Molteno Institute on the Downing Site. There I was ushered into Room 3 where I first met Dr Tate. After listening to my account he looked at my specimen and said, ‘Now just one second …’ in his rich Irish accent. As I later came to know, so much of his teaching or advice began with that highly characteristic phrase. He told me that I had found an acanthocephalan worm in its intermediate host, and when I returned some days later to tell him the results of my search of the literature, he suggested that I should work on the Acanthocephala under his supervision for the Ph.D. Degree after my graduation. I never regretted for one moment my decision to take up his offer. He maintained close contact with me, as he did with all his former research students, and the last letter I received from him was dated 16 September 1985, written just a few weeks before his death on 7 November 1985 in hospital in Cork. During the 24 years of our association I was never on Christian-name terms with him. He was always ‘Dr Tate’ or, when talking with equally close mutual associates like Donald Lee, David Molyneux, John Barrett, Vaughan Southgate or Roger Tatchell, we referred to him as ‘P.T.’. He had great integrity and fairness in all that he did and an ability of seeming to know exactly what you were thinking. These attributes, coupled with his extraordinarily wide parasitological knowledge, generated our respect. He also had a delightful sense of fun and even his sarcasm was kind and gentle. Our children loved him and his steady supply of sweets for those who visited him in Room 3 and the book tokens that came without fail every Christmas were expressions of his kindness.