Dr Thomas Arthur Price - mosquito king

Dr Thomas Arthur Price was born 10 October 1871 in Brisbane and received his education at the Brisbane Grammar School. He later travelled to Edinburgh where he matriculated in 1893. He then qualified in medicine in 1899 and later went to London to study ophthalmology. On his return to Australia, he took up a position in Queensland at the Willowburn Mental Hospital and then in 1903 he set up private practice as an ear, eye, nose and throat specialist in Toowoomba.

Dr Price married Hester Constance Borton in 1905 and had five children, three sons and two daughters. Two of his sons died, one in childhood and the other, an officer of the Royal Australian Air Force, was killed during the second World War, in 1943. Mrs Price died the following year.

Dr and Mrs Price lived on the range overlooking Table Top in a house called “Geeumbi” at the eastern end of South street. Near this house, on the slopes of the range in Redwood Park, Dr Price set up the 'Eagle’s Nest Swagmen’s Camp' during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

This camp was to be a “self-help rest camp” for the unemployed to stay for a week or two, gain good food, a clean bed and fresh hope. The camp is believed to have operated from about 1932 to 1937. Another of Dr Price’s greatest claims to fame is his mosquito eradication program which he put into implementation after he was elected to the city council.

He also served one term as Mayor of Toowoomba. On 4 February 1956 the 'Dr Price Memorial Centre' officially opened. It was named to honour the great works that Dr Price had done for the city, his love for his fellow man and his enthusiasm in the cause of the underprivileged.

Dr Price attended this official opening but it was his last visit to Toowoomba. A year later, on 1 May 1957 Dr Price died in Darwin at the age of 86.

Sources

LH Files – LH/Price, Dr Thomas
Cook, Beryl – “Dr Thomas Price and public health” D.D.I.A.E. assignment, 1981

Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 July 2015 09:52
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