Oh Errol, he was just like him
Theodore Thomson Flynn: Not Just Errol’s Father
THIS self-published biography of the Tasmanian biologist who sired one of Australia’s greatest movie stars is a gem. With an excellent index and a revealing series of photographs, the thoroughly researched book is a credit to Hobart couple Vicki and Tony Harrison, who went down the self-publishing route after being unable to interest a commercial publisher.
Theodore Thomson Flynn was born in Coraki in northern NSW in 1883. He came from a modest background and at 15 started work as a pupil-teacher in country NSW. After completing his studies at the University of Sydney, he became, at just 28, professor of By Tony and Vicki Harrison Artemis Publishing, 238pp, $35 biology at the University of Tasmania. His two main fields of interest were marine biology and fisheries, and marsupial embryology and its place in mammalian development.
Through the years Flynn established an international reputation as a researcher in biological and zoological sciences. But not having been afforded what he regarded as proper personal and academic respect in Hobart, and having being hounded by university bureaucrats, he decided to look for positions elsewhere, preferably overseas.
Despite the effects of the Depression, in 1931 Flynn was fortunate enough to be appointed to the chair of zoology at the prestigious Queen’s University in Belfast. While there he also served as chief of Belfast’s Casualty Clearing Service during World War II, for which he was awarded an MBE.
Given its subtitle, Not Just Errol’s Father, it’s no surprise this book deals in considerable detail with a comparison between Flynn and