In 1956, Melbourne hosted the Olympics, Elvis Presley released ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, and Dr David Hore began work as a family doctor.
In September 2020 the Moonee Ponds GP retired after a career in which he delivered more than 3000 babies, filled countless prescriptions, and cared for three generations of local families.
“Just the other day I had someone ring up about their 92-year-old father and during the call she said, ‘By the way, you delivered me 62 years ago’,” Dr Hore said.
“When I started here, Moonee Ponds felt like a tiny town. In those early days I did a lot of hand surgery because local working people were suffering hand trauma from sewing machines and in butcheries.”
From treating hand injuries in the 1950s to advising people on the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Dr Hore’s approach was always the same.
“I was one of the old-fashioned doctors because I was always available. I was like a country doctor.
“But what I feel about my patients is that they’ve given me as much as I’ve given them.”
As an electrician’s son from working-class Yarraville, medicine was an improbable vocation for the young David Hore.
“I never had any doubts,” he said. “As soon as I started work as a doctor I knew I was meant to do this.”
His daughter Julie says that her father is part of the fabric of our community.
“When he announced his retirement there were so many gifts and calls from well-wishers. He has clearly been a source of comfort and reassurance for the people he has looked after.
“And he’s loved every minute of it.”
Dr Hore is staying busy in his retirement. He still attends his practice every day, tidying up more than 60 years of paperwork.
His secret for a long and productive life?
“Good genes are important. You have to enjoy what you’re doing, and don’t be lazy.
“I’ve never allowed myself to be tired. I just tell myself, get on with it!”
After putting down the stethoscope, Dr Hore has picked up a hammer.
“I’m rebuilding the fences for my grandchildren. And I’ve got a big hammer-drill I use to put up pictures on walls.
“There is always something to do.”