Our current clinic building was actually a World War 2 Army barracks which was originally on site in what was then the Toowoomba Show Grounds (the Bridge St TAFE college covers this land now). After the war it was sold at auction along with a great number of other items which were then surplus to the Army’s needs.
The idea of the clinic’s founders, Marty and Kathleen Rock, was that the building would serve as only a temporary structure until a more permanent option could be built, but the city council of the time ruled that the building should be placed on solid brick footings. So the clinic was moved to its current location on what was then an empty block of land on the corner of Campbell and Lindsay streets sometime early in 1947. It is believed that the clinic started treating patients shortly after.
I like to daydream about what Toowoomba and our particular corner of Queens Park (directly across the intersection) must have looked like in those days. The many camphor laurel trees would have been smaller, the cars slower and life both harder and easier depending on how you look at it I suppose. Marty and Kathleen’s son Ken had the clinic from 1966 until December 1971, when my father Nev Parkinson became the owner.
Prior to this time Dad had been trained by and was running a practice in Miles for Mr Les Williams who was an original trainee of Mr Kjellberg himself, but he was looking for a change of location for his then young family. So it came to pass that in December of 1971 (when I was all of 17 months old), after having paid Ken a visit and deciding that Toowoomba would be a good location for his future, he took over the daily operation of the clinic. The years from 1971 to October of 2003 were very busy ones indeed for my father. It’s quite impossible to guess at how many individuals were helped over those years.
Toowoomba was a much different place in the early 70’s I’m sure. More a large country town than the growing city it is today. Dad found himself as one of only a handful of other chiropractors in town and his reputation grew the clinic. Many of our older patients attending the clinic today still sing the well deserved praises of my father Nev and of his heart to simply do his best to help people in pain. Funnily enough, some of these same patients tell me their recollections of me racing my 3 wheel “bike” up and down the long hallways of the clinic building and doing “skiddies” in the open waiting room. I’m sure I wasn’t an annoying toddler at all.....right?
This clinic has always been my home and a part of my life. I have a love for its history as well as its future. As far as the Chiropractors before me go, I stand on their shoulders, and for me, the real story lies with the thousands of people that have been treated within these walls over the years. After all, without the people, it’s just another building.