Succession of Doctors

Succession of Doctors

1900's, Mallee

Before the 1914-18 War, Dr James Rowan and his mother came to Ultima, and built a home; one room at the front of the house was used as a surgery, and the rest of the house, as their private home. There were no cars in the district at that time, so the Doctor used a horse and buggy to visit his patients, who lived out of town. On one occasion he was called to a farm at night, to deliver a baby. He took Nurse Benson with him, and whilst they were preparing for the delivery of a child a dust storm struck, and blew the chimney off the house, and after groping around in the dust with a kerosene lantern, the baby arrived safely. I think that baby, an old man by the 1990's, was still alive and living in Western Australia. Unfortunately his mother died of septicemia.

When war broke out Dr. Rowan joined the Army, and served with the Forces for the duration of the war. He did not return to Ultima when the war was over. Dr. Rowan was Medical Officer on the ship bringing some of our men home. Influenza broke out on the ship, and when all other methods of finding a cure failed , Dr. Rowan ordered every man to draw salty water up their noses each morning and night, and by the time the ship arrived home, every soldier was fit and well.

On his return to Melbourne he married and had two sons (Noel and Ian). One became a solicitor, and the other one a Doctor of Dentistry at the Dental Hospital in Melbourne.

Dr James Rowan had a Private Practice at Kew, and consulting rooms in Collins St. When he finally retired at his home in Kew, and could no longer drive his own car, he would phone Clem Baldwin to drive him around to visit his friends, and the Army and Navy Club in Collins Street, where they would lunch. He died at his Kew home in 1987.

His practice in Ultima was passed on to Mr Lanthier, but he was not there for very long, then Dr Ivan Wartzki with his wife and young baby. Dr. Wartzki was replaced by Dr. Tarleton, however he did not stay for very long, was followed by Dr. Darby, who later moved to Inglewood. Dr. Farrar then came, and stayed for many years.

When the Second World War (1939-1945) broke out, Dr. Farrar joined the Forces and did not return to Ultima. He was appointed Medical Superintendent of the Air Forces, and I think was stationed in Sydney. Dr. Farrar had two sons who attended the Ultima School in the 1930's; their names were Trevor and Darrell.