Unsung HeroesRevealing the Remarkable in Seemingly Ordinary People
Described as an institution in the town of Narrogin, Dr John Parry practised medicine for over 50 years in the town he loved and where he knew generations of it's people.
Born in Narrogin in 1936, John Parry was sent to school in Albany but, his son Chris said, he was overcome with homesickness and wanted to come home. Eventually he was allowed to return and work in his father's shop Parry's, the store still bearing the Parry name today in Federal Street Narrogin.
Having attained the grades to enter Medical School and because there was none yet in WA, John Parry went to Melbourne and a few years later, when UWA's Medical School was opened, he transferred to it and became one of it's first medicine graduates. After graduation he made his way back home, first working in Williams before joining a practice in town and by the mid 60's was entrenched as the local GP and taking on community causes.
A great love of Dr Parry's life was cars, which he both collected and raced, even taking part in the Narrogin Speed Classic held in Narrogin in 1988 and 1989. "That suited Dad pretty well" Chris tells "because he was always a lover of cars and he drove quite a few racing cars during those races; Jaguars, MG's, Lotus' and Triumphs."
Throughout his life, Dr Parry's efforts for the community and medicine echoed far beyond the town he loved. In 1997 he designed and developed the Parry Pack, a trauma pack for medical professionals which is still in use across WA.
In the same year he was made a Member of the Order of Australia.
Chris said country towns often only thrived on the leadership given by those in the community who devoted their time and effort to help others. "Dad seemed to have more time than the rest of us. As a doctor, father, friend and contributor to the community, whether to repair a wound, deliver one of Narrogin's citizens or give good counsel and advice, he was always on call."
Revealing the remarkable in seemly ordinary people
Portrait painted by Graham Smith 2020.
Text compiled by Jan Smith from notes provided with the nomination in 2020.