Kingston RFDS support group hold annual luncheon

The Kingston Royal Flying Doctors Support group held a successful annual luncheon on Friday July 6 at the Kingston Bowling Club.

With a beautiful spread of food served for the members, two cheques were presented to the RFDS, one from the Kingston Car Club and the other from the Kingston Lions Club. The Kingston support group always has someone come down from the RFDS in Adelaide to speak to the members during the luncheon. 

Fundraising manager for the Royal Flying Doctor Service Anthea Rice came down to Kingston from Adelaide to speak to the group. Ms Rice spoke about the 90th anniversary of the RFDS, covering its extensive history. 

Ms Rice also spoke about the celebrations in Adelaide for the anniversary as well as a few stories from the past. Ms Rice touched on some statistics, pointing out that the RFDS has landed in Kingston 30 times in the past 12 months.

Ms Rice pointed out that Reverend John Flynn who is on the Australian $20 note is behind the RFDS establishment, with it being 90 years since Reverend Flynn proclaimed the Aerial Medical Service on May 15 1928. To attract people to donate, Reverend Flynn told his story of Jimmy Darcy, a stockman from Halls Creek in Western Australia.

The stockman had been badly injured in a fall and he was dragged 50km to Halls Creek expecting to find a doctor. When he arrived there was no doctor to be found. The local postmaster, Fred Tuckett had basic knowledge of first aid and he contacted Doctor Holland in Perth which was 3000km away using Morse code.

He received a reply via code on how to help the young stockman, performing surgery on him despite little training.

Flynn’s vision for a safe future for those living in the harsh outback was born. It took Flynn 10 years to lobby the government and politicians. Ten years later, with the generosity of a benefactor Hugh Victor Mckay, the RFDS was born. 

Mckay left a legacy in his will for John Flynn to establish what he called, the Flying Doctors Scheme. It was a combination of Mckay’s generosity and Flynn’s vision that has created a safety net for those who live in remote country areas.