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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Medical Practitioners - Dr J. Boyce Mugliston

 Dr Mugliston was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons (England) and had been locum tenens for Dr Spark in Katoomba. In November 1895 it was announced that he was coming to live in Greenheys where he would begin to practise and would dispense his own medicine. By December he and his family had arrived and he was ready to begin. Horse and buggy accidents soon gave him opportunities to show his skills. In 1898 the Muglistons moved out of Greenheys and into Edmundville.

Dr Mugliston was a community minded citizen and became one of the Vice Presidents of the Cricket Club in 1897. Unfortunately, he found the Springwood community too healthy and went to Cargo near Orange in 1898 with the idea of relocating there, leaving his family temporarily in Springwood. He only stayed a few days, as he did not like Cargo. He threw himself into the recreational life of the town, participating in debates and entertainments. He debated ‘Republicanism versus the Monarchy’ with Martin Olsen, being himself in favour of the monarchy. He and Olsen often found themselves on opposite sides of a debate. He also organised a burlesque from Dickens’ Pickwick Papers in which he took the part of the judge, Justice Starleigh. In 1899 he was elected to the committees of the Debating Club and the Social Club, and later in the year he was elected President of the Debating Club. When the two clubs amalgamated he was made President of the new club.

He was always happy to take the chair at meetings and functions and chaired a banquet at the Oriental Hotel given for Mr S.E. Lees, the local member. Martin Olsen was present at this function too and spoke a few eulogistic words in favour of Dr Mugliston, who did not know what he had done to deserve all the nice things Olsen said about him. He felt it must have been because Olsen was a foreigner, and hence given to flattery. He also said that he was always willing to assist in anything that would tend to the progress of the town.

In July 1901, he finally had to accept that there was not enough sickness in Springwood to support a doctor and announced he was leaving the district. In December he returned for a presentation at the Royal Hotel where he received an address and a handsome present of plateware. He had been practising at Neutral Bay.

Shirley Evans

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