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Angels in the Outback

Description:
This is a remarkable story told for the first time in all its detail and with the understanding of an insider. Just before World War I when the Australian outback suffered with the decline of its goldmines and the hard times on its pastoral runs, a young Victorian arrived to see how he could help. The white inhabitants were few, and were rarely if ever visited by clergymen, doctors or nurses. The long-distance mailman was the most regular visitor, but the letters and newspapers he brought were sometimes weeks old. Then the biggest town of today's outback, Alice Springs, held just a few people. In Central Australia lived many Aborigines who had not met a European. It was the Reverend John Flynn, a young Presbyterian clergyman from Victoria, who set out to ease the loneliness of many outback people. Working under the banner of his Australian Inland Mission he eventually was helped by travelling padres who held religious services where two or three people and a child or two were gathered together, and by the young nurses who opened makeshift hospitals far from the doctor's surgery. The difficulties they faced are traced in this book.
We see Sister Latto Bett travelling on an open trolley along one of the few outback railways, and holding up an umbrella to protect her from the intense heat. We glimpse Padre Plowman riding a camel, for it was still the main carrier in a vast arid area. Here in the late 1920s the world's first flying doctor service was founded. It was made possible by Flynn's supporters; a young and dedicated Melbourne doctor named George Simpson; Alfred Traegar of Adelaide who devised a pedal wireless that linked outback homesteads and camps with the faraway pilot and doctor; and the engineers who managed to fit a stretcher inside the cramped cabin Please click here to ask a question
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  • Store location: Auckland City, Auckland, NZ

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