The Final years of the first surgeon to practice in Mudgee
In 1903, Dr. Lester again proceeded to Edinburgh and was admitted a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.
On his return to his native town he was honoured with a civic reception. For a further 21 years Dr. Lester was a familiar sight, beloved by all, as he drove about the countryside administering to the sick and needy.
When the need arose Dr. Lester added dentistry to his skills by removing the offending tooth. He took an interest in all sporting fixtures, became a Past Master of the Masonic Lodge and further found the time to indulge in amateur theatricals, taking the part in local productions with all the vigor of a true professional.
In 1924 Dr. Lester’s wife Mary became ill, and once again they journeyed to Forgandenny House, Scotland to visit family and friends. Dr. Lester contracted a locum to manage his patients and Forgandenny House for the time he was abroad. However time was to run out for Dr. Lester. Returning to Mudgee 6 days late, due to his wife’s illness, Dr. Lester sold his practice and home to the locum, due to contract conditions.
Leaving Mudgee in 1924. Dr. Lester practiced in Macquarie Street, Sydney, and from his suburban home in Dee Why. Five years later, following the death of his wife, the call to the sea beckoned. His Grandfather was an Admiral in the British Navy, and Charles became a Ship’s Surgeon on voyages between Australia, New Zealand and San Francisco.
He suffered a further blow in 1929 when his daughter Myra, died in New Zealand. His only other child, Bruce, remained in the Mudgee district on the property called Binnawee where his only descendant, David Bruce Lester and wife Mary still live today.
Dr. Charles Edward Lester died at sea on RMS Tahiti on July 31, 1930 aged 65, just as the vessel reached Wellington Harbour. A truly remarkable man whose expertise was a valued contribution to the well being of the Mudgee citizens.