Fixing a Handicap

Dr. Ward, Dr. Hirsch and Dr. Adlington outside Que Que Hospital cirra 1948

Dr. Ward, Dr. Hirsch and Dr. Adlington outside Que Que Hospital cirra 1948

Fixing a Handicap

My Dad never wanted to be a doctor.  He wanted to be an atomic physicist.  The 1930’s was the golden age of atomic physics.  He had never mastered Shakespeare but he seized Benjamin Harrow’s Romance of the Atom.  His father informed him that that sort of job was expendable.  If he was paying for his education, then medicine was the logical choice. The only thing you could count on in life was that people inevitably got sick.  (He had grown up the hard way in Lithuania, a part of the anti-Semitic Russian Empire.)

Fixing a Handicap

After WWII, the age of specialization dawned. My dad wanted to go to England and specialize in plastic surgery.  But by then he was married and had a sick child on his hands.

Que Que offered its challenges and he was not sorry.  The new sports club off Rhodes Highway, which he opened in 1952, would not have been complete without a golf course. Basil Prior of the Globe and Phoenix Mine did the bush clearing, blasting out numerous stumps of trees.  In later years, he was often blamed for leaving particular trees at the corners of dog’s legs to confound his opponents.  But it was a vast improvement on the old one adjacent to the High School grounds, crossed by the main road and the railway line.  Earth tees and sand greens and sparsely grassed fairways had been the order of the day then.

Dad’s days and weekends were busy with the medical practice and local politics so whenever he could he combined business with pleasure.

John Henry MacIntosh was the town clerk.  Dad being mayor, they spent much time together discussing the towns financial wellbeing and ways of improving it.

There was always a crowd of  boys offering their services as caddys.  One of them had a harelip and cleft pallet and he attached himself to Dad when ever he saw him coming.  He did not mind and in time got fond of him.  He was a good caddy, always ready with the right wood or iron. But Mr. Mac found  him disturbing and claimed he put him off his stroke.

After a particularly bad day for Mac, he turned to Dad testily and said, “For Christ sake man, why don’t you fix him!”

In due course, Dad explained the procedure to the caddy, took him to hospital, performed the necessary surgery, a first for him, with a perfect result.   The patient was all smiles.

But Mac’s game was unaffected.

Thanks to Nigel Prior for golf course development details. 


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