Hunter Valley Colonial Medical Practitioners

 

Alexander Gammack

Newcastle - Norfolk Island


 

 

 

 

 

Alexander Gamack was employed as assistant surgeon at Norfolk Island in 1831. He was mentioned in dispatches for his exertions during an uprising of convicts at Norfolk Island in 1834....see Sydney Herald He is described in an extract from Convict Artefacts from the Civil Hospital privy on Norfolk Island by Fiona Starr, as having taken great care of a patient who had been shot during the uprising.

He returned to Sydney from Norfolk Island on the Governor Phillip in December 1836 ....Sydney Gazette 3 December 1836

Alexander was employed as surgeon at Windsor Hospital when he married Anna (Blachford) Cox, widow of William Cox in 1837.

The Gamacks were residing at Fairfield near Windsor in 1841. A destructive fire destroyed much of their property - see.... The Australian

After submitting the necessary testimonials of qualifications to the President and Members of the New South Wales Medical Board appointed by his Excellency the Governor, Doctors were certified 'Legally Qualified Medical Practitioners'.  Dr. Alexander Gamack was listed as a Qualified Medical practitioner and Colonial surgeon in Newcastle in 1848. He was also appointed Magistrate in September of that year.

Dr. Gamack and his family were residing in Parramatta when the following article was printed in the Maitland Mercury in 1850.......

 "Merciful Preservation from Destruction by Lightning.-On Tuesday morning last, during the violence of the tempest, the electric fluid entered the dwelling house of Dr Gamack The description of the circumstance by the in-mates is as follows : A ball of brilliant fire, about the size of a cricket ball, entered the kitchen, where two men and a woman servant were occupied-the woman was thrown to a distance, and lost the power of speech ; the men were also thrown from their places, gasping for breath. The ball of fire played and flickered under the table for a perceptible space of time, clearing the stove dust off the floor, then made its exit out of the kitchen, round to the window of the breakfast room, where the doctor and Mrs. Gamack with their son, a lad of eleven years of years of age, were sitting; the fluid here exploded with an awful crack-the boy was sent from the table to a corner of the room, and Mrs. G. thrown violently back into her chair. The doctor received a blow, on the right side of the chest ; the table shook so much that one of the breakfast cups turned completely upside down ; and the poor boy, who was struck speech-less, when lie recovered his breath, shrieked most piteously. The family remained ill all day, especially the doctor. The postman, who was passing the house at the time, felt the shock, for his horse trembled under him. The family of Captain Chilcott, who reside near the spot, describe the shock to have been as if the house would burst asunder."

Alexander Gamack later resided in Port Macquarie but was employed in private practice. He died on Wednesday morning 15th February 1888 at Port Macquarie. - A very old resident of the district. For many years he was under a pension from the government, and acted as government officer for the asylum at Port Macquarie in the early days (Sydney Morning Herald 16 February 1888)

 

Notes & Links:

For more information see Australian Pioneer Medical Index

Aberdoon Park - Baulkham Hills council

Convict Establishments in the Colony - Employed as surgeon in Tasmania September 1850

Convict Ships to Norfolk Island:  Nautilus Augusta Jessie  Mangles  Maitland  Blundell  Agincourt  Hydrabad  David Malcolm  Mayda  China  John Calvin  Eliza 

 

 

 

 

 

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