I had been planning and researching this particular series for a while - delayed as always due to a busy life. I'm bringing it forward for my own purpose - to find inspiration in the amazing doctors who went before me in this remarkable specialty of mine.
We will start with Dr. Ettie Lyons.
(Bachelor of Arts Graduation photo - Dr. Lyons is in the middle)
(During her time in the medical mission- undated)
Five years later in 1922 Dr. Lyons and Wrighty decided to take an 18 month long return to the UK, partly to allow Dr. Lyons to refresh her skills. Taralga held a send off where pretty much the entire community attended and professed their love for their doctor and entreated her to return soon.
Her locum during her time away was Dr. Kathleen Clouston - Dr. Lyons preferentially choosing women doctors as her locums.
(Dr. Kathleen Clouston)
Her impact on the Taralga community is such that she is still well remembered fondly today - particularly her "forthright" attitude. Her practice at the time was described as a "microcosm of general practice in rural NSW in the first half of the 20th century," by Dr. Beatrix Durie in an article in the MJA in 1972.
I suppose compared to other figures I usually write about Ettie Lyons isn't particularly exciting. She moved to a small country town, she worked. She retired. But to the people of Taralga - Dr. Lyons was exactly what they needed - someone to look after their children, their parents, deliver their babies, listen and care. A good GP.
Maybe not that interesting, but very, very important.
For this article I am deeply indebted to Mr. Peter McInnes who surprised the heck out of me by providing links to the wonderful story about Dr. Lyons send off party and all of the marvellous pictures you see on this post when I was first researching. Thank you Peter - you made my day when you first posted - and you continue to every time I see them!