Scone Veterinary Protégés II

Scone Veterinary Protégés II

Dr Chris Brown is the TV favourite Bondi Vet and also ‘in the jungle’. I admit I’m stretching a point but I kid you not. Chris also has a Scone Veterinary Connection.

Chris’s father Graeme Brown is also a veterinarian. He was the government appointed (‘bonded’) Upper Hunter Pastures Protection Board Veterinarian based in Scone when I arrived in 1967. He was also a new graduate; like me. Graeme was a great help to the ‘new chum’ pommy veterinarian and made me feel most welcome. I was included in his professional and social rounds; much to my relief and pleasure. Graeme and fiancée Sue took me to Randwick Races over Easter 1968. It was my very first visit. We were in the cheapest section in the middle of the race track now no longer available. It’s a car park. I recall ‘Black Onyx’ (Pipe of Peace Imp. ex Organdie Imp.) flashing past the post ridden by Kevin Langby and trained by Tommy ‘T J’ Smith to win the Sires Produce Stakes. ‘Cottonon’ (Tudor Royal ex Cotton Socks) ran second ridden by Des Lake; beaten a long neck. We had the briefest glimpse of the horses and jockeys above the heads of the ground-level crowd. It was impossible to hear the call; but we’d all backed a winner. We had the day out for free; and a bit to spare.

Graeme and Sue plus a few of his recent Sydney graduate cadre took me on my first visit to Kings Cross. We wined and dined in the Bourbon and Beefsteak. Across the road was a hostess facility with several ladies of easy virtue apparently very busily at work. There seemed to be a ‘Grande Madame’ who touted and screened outside. We had great fun timing the enthusiastic clientele. The average was about six minutes and the mean perhaps nine minutes? One or two were still securing their ‘fly buttons’ on exit. What did George Bernard Shaw say ‘about the position ridiculous and the pleasure momentary’?

Fast forward another twenty five years; and I was reacquainted with both Graeme and Sue. My son Hugh and Chis Brown are the same age. Both attended Sydney University: Hugh at St Paul’s College and Chris Brown at St Andrew’s. They crossed paths on the playing fields of the fiercely contested Rawson Cup. They became good friends and ‘better enemies’. We as parents reconnected and celebrated in the Nag’s Head in Glebe after the contest(s). The outcome was Chris came to Scone to complete his undergraduate equine practice module. He stayed with us in our guest’s cottage. He signed the visitor’s book on 29th September 1999. As expected he was the ideal visitor. He also made his mark at Scone Equine Hospital. He only had to turn up at the female majority practice!

Chris also served as a Veterinary Steward at the RAS of NSW Royal Easter Show. This was during my time as Chairman of the Veterinary Committee. I’m now succeeded by Chris’s classmate Dr Mark Schembri BSc BVSc (Sydney), MPH (Harvard), MB ChB (Sydney).  If he can find the time Chris still calls into the Show. It’s difficult for him to hide!

Chris Brown’s base Bondi Junction Veterinary Hospital was originally founded by Major Norman Larkin BVSc. The latter was instrumental in setting up the Scone Veterinary Practice in 1950 with Murray Bain and Frank Williams. It’s another quasi-tangential link?