I thought I’d make my blog a bit different this month and tell the story of optometry in my family. I am actually the fourth generation of optometrists in our family and I am very proud to follow in the footsteps of my uncle and aunt, my grand dad and my great grand dad. My great grand dad (Colin Waldron Senior) first travelled to country South-East Queensland in 1928 to perform eye examinations.
Colin Senior did his indentures in Townsville with Greenfields Optometrists before 1914. His son, Frank Waldron (my grand dad – Pompy to me) was born in Townsville in 1914. Colin Senior eventually opened his practice in Brisbane and visited various locations in South-East Queensland from 1928 by ‘service car’ as he did not drive. He visited Beaudesert, Rathdowney and other nearby towns. He practised in people’s homes and in the CWA hall in Beaudesert. Pompy worked with his dad as an apprentice optometrist in Brisbane and qualified as an optometrist in 1939. The same year he enlisted in the army and went to the Middle East and Papua New Guinea from 1939 to 1944. He worked as an assistant to an ophthalmologist in Papua New Guinea.
Pompy relieved his father by doing the Beaudesert trip when he returned from the war in 1944. He also travelled to Toogoolawah, Linville, Moore, Blackbutt, Kilcoy, Woodford and Caboolture. Eventually he moved the Beaudesert location from the CWA hall to the Grand Hotel. Pompy continued the Brisbane practice and the country trip when Colin Senior moved to Burleigh Heads in 1970.
Pompy’s son, Colin Waldron (or my uncle) graduated from the first full time optometry course at Queensland Institute of Technology (QIT) in 1969. Colin joined Pompy in Brisbane in 1970 and soon after that the practice moved from Rowe’s Building to 177 Edward Street. When the Grand Hotel in Beaudesert burnt down, Pompy practised in Moss Photographic Studio, and Colin joined him there later. Colin’s wife, Heather (my aunty), also a 1969 QIT graduate, joined the practice in 1976.
In 1977 Colin and Heather opened the first permanent rooms for Waldron’s Optometrists in Beaudesert in Centre 9. It started off as a 2-3 day per week practice, but very quickly grew. In 1985 they moved the practice to the Beaudesert Medical Centre when Dr MacDonald completed some extensions to the premises, and there the practice became full time optometry and grew to 1.5 optometrists by the time Colin and Heather sold it in 2000. After selling the Beaudesert practice, Colin and Heather opened a practice on Tamborine Mountain (Tamborine Mountain Optometrists) and this was meant to be their part-time retirement practice. My mum, Glenice Tune (Pompy’s daughter), was also the Administrative Officer for the Optometrists Association Australia for 21 years.
In 2002 I completed my Optometry Degree at QUT in Brisbane. I worked on the Gold Coast for 4 years before joining Colin and Heather at their Mount Tamborine practice in 2006. In 2008 Colin and Heather sold Tamborine Mountain Optometrists to me and by 2009 the practice had grown to full time optometry. I am the great grand daughter of the ‘first’ Colin Waldron.
Nicky Carr is our full time optometrist and is also our practice owner.