I first became aware of Dr James Wright when I was the mother of two very young children and would watch the Mike Walsh Show in the early 70s. He was always breezy, funny and gave sound advice.
But I have learned from reading the autobiography of Dr John F Knight AM, Dr James Wright: Adventures of a Merry Medic I have learned that this is a very small part of John Knight’s career. James Wright was the name he had to go by for media purposes, owing to the strict rules of publicity seeking enforced by the AMA
This is the story of John Knight growing up in Sydney, one of three sons. His father was a clergyman and there was not a lot of money. John Knight was one of those entrepreneurial youngsters who took every chance to make a few shillings and this was a trait that has continued all his life.
He was also a hard worker and took every opportunity that presented itself both in furthering his medical career and his writing career, his first love. He edited magazines at school and at university and fleshed out his scholarship funds with writing columns for daily newspapers.
Knight ‘s residency was at Cowra, but he took the opportunity to become the GP at Tottenham. He also became the ‘stringer’ for a city newspaper and the ABC.
The love of his life was Noreen, who died in 2012. She was his constant support and together they raised a family of four children.
John Knight had his own practice at Eastwood, and a farm in the Armidale region to which he and Noreen would retire each January where he would write a medical book in simple straightforward language, and set his goals for the year. These goals would involve the farm, his practice, his media career, the motel he owned for some time and his personal and family life.
Amongst his media work was not only television with Mike Walsh and Ray Martin, there was radio work, television and newspaper, and magazine. John Knight was also Dr Dolly! The Daily Telegraph published lift out guides at one stage that were hugely popular.
An area of work that is probably little known is charitable foundation his family runs which provides unit accommodation for poor elderly people. It was for this work that John Knight received his AM.
The book is written in his inimitable straightforward style, accompanied by a lot of fascinating photographs. There are endorsements by his media coworkers and 15 medical fact sheets.
John Knight is clearly an energetic man, whose hard work, forward planning and the willingness to take every opportunity have given him rewards and enriched the Australian community.
Dr James Wright: Adventures of a Merry Medic, by Dr John Knight, is available from Dymocks.
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