For 42 years, it has been the privilege of local dentist Dr Roy Robertson to serve the community. It is with mixed emotions that he has decided to finally retire and spend more time with his family. He has seen a great many changes in Round Corner since his first patient booked an appointment (that patient still comes to see Roy today!). Here are some of Roy’s greatest memories.
In deciding on a career path from school, Roy was inspired to become a dentist by a cousin who had taken this career path several years earlier. He studied at Otago University in NZ and graduated in 1974. His first job was with his family dentist in Auckland who, after one year, asked Roy to join the practice as a partner. Roy, however had promised his wife that they would spend some years seeing the world and he remained true to his word. Off they went!
His first working stop of his overseas travels was 6 months at a clinic in the city of Kano in northern Nigeria. This role tested all Roy’s skills that he gained from growing up on a small farm and working on machinery. Roy was the sole dentist at this practice, and every single dental instrument in the practice was not functioning. The need to bring your own equipment had not been mentioned in the job advertisement! At that time, there was nowhere in Nigeria to purchase equipment or parts.
Roy’s first task was to scavenge parts from one piece of equipment to fix another. The tiny and primitive laboratory in the back room was no exception. He had to fix the equipment there himself and do all the technical work, such as making dentures. At that time people arrived from not only other parts of Nigeria, but also neighbouring countries to see the dentist at this clinic. It was not unusual for Roy to find the surgery without water one day and without electricity the next, as well as many other challenges which tested Roy’s ability to be inventive with the equipment he had to hand.
The next working stop was England, where for 18 months Roy worked in a dental practice in the north and also undertook locum work in London and Cornwall. Roy then moved on to work in Germany for 18 months where he was in a practice which gave him a great deal of experience in prosthodontics work, for example crowns, bridges and veneers. Three diverse and fascinating countries to live and work within those communities.
Returning to Australia, Roy set up his own practice in Round Corner, Dural in 1981. In over 40 years, he has provided his services to the local community and worked to resolve a wide range of issues. He enjoyed the diversity of work which general practice offered and always treated his work as a highly skilled craft. Roy has always gained a personal satisfaction from providing quality dentistry and will always treasure the friendships he has made with his loyal patients.
Roy was delighted when one of his former dental nurses decided to study dentistry. Years later that young dentist, Olivia, bought his practice, updated and enlarged it, and employed Roy to assist with a smooth transition for his patients.
Here at the practice, we know a rest is more than deserved at the end of such a long career, but we really will miss him terribly. Roy is looking forward to some more travel and some time spent with family, with only a few short months at the surgery to go. If you have a message for him, please do reach out to me at [email protected].
– Miranda Huxtable,
Practice Manager – with lots of help from Denise Robertson