MUCH LOVED: The grave of doctor Carlo Franceschi.
MUCH LOVED: The grave of doctor Carlo Franceschi. Samantha Elley

Community begs doctor to return

AT THE turn of the 20th century, Dr Carlo Franceschi reached Australian shores after attaining the rank of Major in the Italian army.

In 1900 there were many new discoveries in the medical world - vaccines for cholera, anthrax, rabies, tetanus and diphtheria had been developed and a medical use for x-rays had been discovered.

His first home in Australia was in the outback NSW town of Walgett where he stayed for a year before moving to Wee Waa.

By 1902 Dr Franceschi finally arrived in Lismore where he stayed for the next 20 years.

He was medical superintendent of the Lismore District Hospital but by 1919 he decided to move to Sydney and practice in Macquarie Street.

His time away from Lismore didn't last long, 18 months later, thanks to the solicitations of his many friends and patients, he returned to the Northern Rivers.

His obituary in The Northern Star described him as a doctor of 'the deepest humanity and sympathy for suffering and an open-hearted generosity'.

He was also a staunch supporter of St Vincent's Hospital and he worked hard for the St Mary's Association of Charity.

It wasn't all work, he was an avid member of the Lismore Bowling Club and was president for a short while.

At the news of the doctor's death, the club flew its flag at half mast and the green was closed for a day as a mark of respect.

A devout Catholic, a requiem mass held for Dr Franceschi at St Carthage's Cathedral and he was buried at East Lismore cemetery under an impressive headstone.

References: Obituary: Dr Carlo Franceschi, The Northern Star, December 12, 1922; Timeline of medicine, www.wikipedia.org



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