The first white settlers came to the North Coast in the 1840s, a time when few of the things we take for granted today even existed. Medical treatment, such as it was, came in the 1860s and 1870s with the arrival of the first doctors.

In this issue we review (page 6) Dr Neil Thompson’s history of the Richmond Valley doctors from 1866 to 1986. Many people, both medical and lay, are fascinated by this history and have wanted to learn more about their predecessors.

Love me, tender, love me true, all my dreams fulfilled.
For my darlin' I love you, and I always will.
Love Me Tender, Cinemascope Films, 1956

Two of the North Coast Primary Health Network’s tenders for the delivery or services to North Coast GPs and their patients have closed in the last month

The first contract is for an organisation, or organisations, to provide educational services to primary care practitioners from the Tweed to Port Macquarie. These services are directed at medical practitioners, nurses, allied health practitioners and pharmacy and focus on the NCPHN’s target areas for the next triennium.

The Hannah Cabinet Video
Director Ross Bray; cinematographer Steve Munro

As part of the promotion to raise funds for the retention of the Hannah Cabinet in Lismore (see adjoining page) local filmmaker Ross Bray and cinematographer Steve Munro have produced a 30 minute film on the cabinet and its maker Geoff Hannah.

The film produced by local business owners Brian Henry and Gaela Hurford  covers Geoff’s upbringing and family life and his early courting of his wife Rhonda since first meeting in their teenage years. Geoff tells of how he started in woodwork with local firm Brown and Jolly’s where he developed a love for his craft.

Rotary Park, a globally unique dry rainforest remnant, is culturally and spiritually significant for the Widjabal Wiyabal people of the Bundjalung Nation. One of only two urban rainforest remnants in NSW, the park’s circular walking track was opened in 1988 after substantial efforts by Lismore City Council and bush regenerators, led by Rosemary Joseph, to rid the rainforest of invasive weeds. This work is ongoing.

In September 2005 Lismore’s flying fox camp relocated from the riverbank at Currie Park, near the Lismore Racecourse, to Rotary Park where the camp remains today, protected from extreme winds, and at times extreme heat, by the parks unique microclimate created by the gully, creek and the tall trees. Scientific studies reveal that flying foxes’ preferred roosting habitat is where there are emergent trees, patches of dense foliage and an understorey.

Sawbones, Saddle Sores & Soothing Balms

“History is more or less bunk”, according to Henry Ford. Back in the 1850s so was medicine on the North Coast. Dr Neil Thompson’s history of the the local medical fraternity, Sawbones, Saddle Sores & Soothing Balms covers the 120 years from the arrival of medical practitioners in 1866 to the modern era.

Neil Thompson’s fascinating  book, first published four years ago, has recently been released as an Amazon kindle ebook, a format that will enable the stories of the medical pioneers of the region to reach a much wider audience.

Each chapter is devoted to one of the sixteen towns in the local area, detailing the travails and contributions of each town’s medical practitioners in chronological order.