If Dr Geoffrey Young was coming home from work after dark, he’d fly low over home.
In the late 1940s and 50s when he was based in Forbes, it was the only way to signal to his wife that he was on the way.
She would load the children in the car and drive out to the aerodrome – placing hurricane lanterns along the airstrip so the local flying doctor could land safely for the night.
That was just one of the memories the locally-renowned doctor’s children shared on Monday night, when they returned to Forbes to unveil a panel telling their father’s story at Forbes Medical Centre.
A third generation Dr Delohery was also back in Forbes on Monday night, to unveil panels telling the story of his father and grandfather who practiced medicine in Forbes.
Doctor Henry Delohery, a Boer war veteran, established Forbes’ first general practice and worked in the town for more than 20 years.
He had what is believed to the be the first car in town, chauffeur-driven.
His son Jim was born in Forbes, then returned after his service in World War II to Forbes to join Dr Maclean at the practice his father had founded.
Dr Jim Delohery’s son John, now a doctor at Mona Vale, was one of three Delohery boys raised here. His two brothers have now passed away.
Dr Delohery spoke of his father’s love of fishing and his involvement in the local community.
The panels telling the stories of all three doctors are now on permanent display at Forbes Medical Centre, along with those unveiled during Forbes Heritage celebrations for the previous three years.
Dr Young operated a flying doctor service based in Forbes in the 1940s through to 1952.
His son Peter spoke on Monday night, describing his father as a “remarkable man” who pioneered the regular flying doctor service to local rural communities where they wasn’t a local doctor.
Dr Young kept three planes – which he had fitted with stretchers he had built - ready to fly and this proved critical during the floods of 1950 and 1952. His doctor’s bag is kept in the Forbes Museum.
Mr Young shared a touching poetic tribute to his father, which was published in the Advocate on October 24, 1952. It’s available at trove.nla.gov.au
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