Pictures - Left to Right
1: Book cover "Dentist On A Camel"
2: The Dentist, - Harold Vernon Mattingley
3: Mattingley, M.A.C.D, B.D.Sc., D.D.Sc., age 71, 1950
4: The author - his son Keith Vaux Mattingley, AO
When Keith Mattingley set out to chronical the life and times of his pioneer dentist father, Harold Vernon Mattingley, he little knew that his research would unearth such a warm, human picture of this "dentist on a camel".
The author, a career journalist , had risen through the ranks to become managing director of West Australian Newspapers Ltd. A former group manager of The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd publications and chairman of the Argus and Australasian Ltd, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1984 for his services to the media and community, later to be promoted to an Officer of the Order (AO). His merit as a community figure was recognised by the Returned and Services League in Western Australia when it appointed him Honorary Warden of the State War Memorial and Honorary Life Member of the League in Australia. In 1996 he was voted Western Australian Citizen of the Year for community service.
Keith and his wife Janine, whom he married 60 years ago, have five children to whom this biography is dedicated.
This colourful, human interest story of early life in "the old camp", as Coolgardie was known, Harold Mattingley's perambulations atop a camel around the outback treating and studying, particularly Aborigines, and his pioneering dental work that gained him world - wide recognition, make this pictorial a definitive mini history.
As the chairman of the Perth Dental Hospital, Rabbi Dr Shalom Coleman, said: In these times of specialised studies and expertise, the story also serves to remind the present generation never to take for granted the quality and the effort which the early pioneers have given their State in order to reach the levels and standards of today.
Coolgardies Bayley St, East, looked like this when Harold Mattingley arrived on the goldfields in 1898. He had lasting memories of its wide, wide streets, which allowed camel trains to turn, and he was left in no doubt that men outnumbered women.
A hopeful old miner off to the "diggings" with his blanket roll, prospecting gear and water bag.
"Swampers": Those who walked to the goldfields to save money but could afford transport for their gear.
This steam tram was running when Mattingley visited Leonora, another goldfields town. Here it is on its inaugural run on October 6, 1903, a few months after the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme was opened.
Despite primitive conditions, raging typhoid and other frontier-style challenges, Harold Mattingley's early research among the Aborigines of the Western Australian goldfields and points north became a fundamental contribution to dental science. Modern-day researchers still use his work as a reference point.
Showering on the goldfields before 1903 when water was piped 600 kms across the desert from Perth. Mattingley stood in a tin tub sponging up precious water which had been carted from groundwater tanks or purchased from a salt-water condensing plant.
Afghan camel drivers like this
lent Mattingley camels to help
him study the dental health of
Aborigines on the Western
In chains this Aboriginal suspect awaits
the arrival of a visiting magistrate at
The trip from Perth to Coolgardie
took 17 hours when Mattingley set
out in a train drawn by this G-class
steam locomotive. The trip
in a diesel railcar now takes
7 1/2 hours.
THE NAME MATTINGLEY goes back before the 10th century when the name was "Mattingeleghe" and the 15th century "Martyngle". The name appears as "Martinglege" in the doomsday book.
"Matt" is the equivalent of Mathew, an old Hebrew name meaning Gift of the Lord, introduced into England by the Normans, "ing" is a Scandinavian patronymic ending meaning owner or dweller, and "ley" is Anglo-Saxon for a clearing in a wood.|
Literally the name means the home of Mathew in the wood.
The Mattingley village church (left) in Hampshire, England, dates back to the 15th century.
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