Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Trove Tuesday - Opthalmologist

Yesterday I took my mother to visit the opthalmologist. How things have changed since my first visit to the eye doctor nearly 60 years ago.

Just for fun I put the search term "Opthalmologist" into a search in Trove to see what I could find and what caught my eye was this from the set of results on the right hand bottom of the page.

What jumped out at me was the name Gregg, Sir Norman McAlister. It took me back 50 years to a dark set of consulting rooms in Macquarie Street, Sydney furnished with old brown leather chairs and sombre timber furniture. Sir Norman was a pleasant elderly gentleman whom I visited on a number of occasions for my regular eye checkups. I knew that he was important because he was a Sir but I had forgotten all about him and his amazing scientific discovery until I saw his name on Trove.

Naturally I followed the link on Trove that took me to this page on The Encyclopaedia of Australian Science: http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10700/20110629-0133/www.eoas.info/bib/hasb04827.html

Following the link from this page took me, not to an archived Pandora website as I expected but, to a page on the Australian Dictionary of Biography that contained biographical information on Sir Norman.

Having read that article I realise why I didn't see Sir Norman after I left school as he had passed away in 1966. The article on the ADB said that "Gregg talked easily to his patients, and kept a tin of sweet biscuits for the children". He did have a good rapport with my Mum and me but I can't remember ever being offered a biscuit. 

Sir Norman's great discovery was "that rubella in early pregnancy caused cataracts and other birth defects". Having read the article I found via Trove I realise how fortunate I was to be under the care of such a distinguished Australian.


Jackie van Bergen said...

Maybe the biscuits were only for the good children ;)

GeniAus said...

You've probably hit the nail on the head, Jackie.

Kylie Willison said...

A lovely story Jill and LOL to Jackie.

Sharon said...

This reminds me of the butcher who always gave us some sliced meat. Not cookies, but still a fondly remembered treat :)


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