York Place Dunedin

yorkplaceNear the top of one of the many hills of Dunedin stands 310 York place–and here it was for our final year–1956. Four of us in a bedroom each, and a landing on which there was a kitchen and of which was a bathtroom. The residents were Brian Manning, Murray Collins, Ken Newton, and myself. All dental students except Ken, who was a Med. and later became a psychiatrist. The walk up the hill became more pleasant when we bought a car between us and had turns in it’s use. It was a 1927 Studebaker .and we took turns in its use. Not in the best of condition–it sounded like a traction engine when going up the hill. When we sold it at the end of the year–for the price of it’s windscreen–the sump looked like a slurry of dental amalgam, hence the noise of the engine.

Turns were taken in preparing meals — and , as there was not a large hot water supply we rostered the showers–from morning to night and vice versa.

Most nights we studied, and when we didn’t we played up. I played Rugby Union for the dental team in the winter, the team was not up to a high standard but we won a few games. Girls were most welcome, and some mornings saw more than 4 for breakfast. I stayed for Capping this year and as usual the students made nuisances of themselves for a week. I was a little less fortunate. While practicing for a gymnastic routine for the capping concert I injured myself on the parallel bars–the last user did not tighten up the bars properly and I crashed onto my back–requiring hospitalisation. And did it hurt !! A slight fracture of Lumbar 4 or Lumbar 5 ?. On palpation I could feel the area for years later. I could still go to the gym though.

The year went smoothly, and after passing the final exams, and getting through the end of course Ball–where most of us had a few too many. It was paacking up and heading for Auckland for the last time.

Back in Auckland and at the beginning of the New Year , my first job. Which was in a School Dental Clinic, for 2 months. Then to the Mt. Eden School for Dental Nurses–this position was to teach Dental Nurses. and also 2 days a week I had to treat the prisoners at the Mt. Eden gaol. Which was interesting to say the least !!! There are many anecdotes from this experience. Some of the prisoners somehow managed to obtain a small triangular file ( in a prison–I kid you not !!! )– This they used to file away a triangular area between 2 of their anterior teeth–painfull I should imagine, so that they could get gold inlays in same–which they had to pay for, and they were only paid the minimum, and the inlays were expensive. Vanity I suppose, and a few trips to the dentist would relieve the extreme boredom. Murderers, rapists, robbers, were all represented.

In November 1957 I married Dorothy, and we lived in a few flats for the next 2 years.

After 3 years, at Mt. Eden it was down to New Plymouth fo do a locum for 3 years, which was really bit long. Here our 2 lovely daughters Karen and Jan were born. Finishing in New Plymouth, it was over the Melbourne. A locum in Bendigo for 5 months and then back to Melbourne , where I started a new practice in suburban Sunshine, in February 1964. I practised her for 25 years and employed many dentists, one of whom was John Georgiou. John worked from 1974 till I retired in 1989 when I sold the practice to him–we are still in contact. On retirement, I did 23 locums–to keep my hand in–over 5 yrs. And that was the end of that.


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