An­other one of Deg’s Sto­ries.

Galston, Glenorie and Hills Rural News - - History -

Doc­tors Peter and Lynette De­go­tardi were the first res­i­den­tial Doc­tors to live in Du­ral. This is one of their sto­ries as told in a book Peter wrote, called” Life was not meant to be se­ri­ous “Only 100 copies were pub­lished , so it is very hard to find. When Peter and Lynette were at Uni. they were known as Big and Lit­tle! This story gives a good pic­ture of Du­ral as it was 60 years ago, and is told with the per­mis­sion of their son, Steven

Mar­garet McKin­ley

We had be­gun the Du­ral prac­tice in mid 1957, when we were both work­ing as Res­i­dent Med­i­cal of­fi­cers at Par­ra­matta Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal. The sys­tem we worked was that of run­ning evening surg­eries, from eight pm, and on Satur­day morn­ings. If we were both off from the hos­pi­tal, we both came home, but we worked the ros­ter so one of us was at Du­ral each night. It was a fairly hec­tic life, but it was all new, and we en­joyed ev­ery minute of it

By Au­gust, the prac­tice had built up to the ex­tent that it was a vi­able source of in­come, so I gave in my no­tice and spent ev­ery day at Du­ral. Lynette came and went, keep­ing up her job at Par­ra­matta, to en­sure that we had an in­come at least.

We had bought an old chook farm at the junc­tion of Gal­ston and Old North­ern roads, in the cen­tre of old Du­ral. The old lady sell­ing the prop­erty could not see it as any­thing but a pro­duc­ing poul­try farm. “We don’t want the chooks”, we kept say­ing.” Sell them, we are go­ing to prac­tice medicine.” She was adamant.

Even­tu­ally we bought it- twenty three acres, a fi­bro two bed­room home with garage, and three thou­sand chooks with lots of chook sheds, for six thou­sand pounds. On the day we in, the chook man came, took all the chooks and gave us five hun­dred pounds.

We en­closed the front ve­ran­dah, one end as a wait­ing room, the other as con­sult­ing room, and opened for busi­ness. It built up very rapidly.

The old home had an old pan sys­tem toi­let in the back yard. There be­ing no night soil ser­vice in the Du­ral Dis­trict, I would dig a hole and bury this. Since I did not feel it was quite the thing to have the new lo­cal doc­tor seen car­ry­ing out this ac­tiv­ity, it was al­ways done at mid­night.

Need­less to say, the first money we earned was spent on in­stalling a sep­tic tank and in­side toi­let.

The An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing of the Du­ral and Dis­tricts His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety will be held on Satur­day, 14th Oc­to­ber, at 2pm . Mem­bers will “Show and Tell” some of their his­tor­i­cal trea­sures. All wel­come.

Front cover of Deg's Sto­ries

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