After four decades of working out of the same practice a Griffith dentist is hanging up his instruments after getting too long in the tooth.
There’s an urban myth saying dentists are supposed to be sombre people – but Brian Hammond has been all smiles since he handed over the keys of the dental practice he built up from scratch to a new generation in February.
As a younger man Mr Hammond came to Griffith from Broken Hill via Dubbo, opening up his own business down at the East Griffith shops in the October of 1977.
Back then he was a dental technician, running a lab for the dentists in the city – but it wasn’t too long before he was taking those same dentists on.
“I decided to go back and do a procedures course and now I’ve been a dentist for 30 years,” he said on Thursday.
Looking back now it is easy to see the success of a man who built a business on his own, but Mr Hammond was quick to emphasise it was hard work from the get go.
“Back in those days you weren’t allowed to advertise,” he explained, admitting the pressure could at times be intense.
“Working for yourself, you have to work a lot harder and it was all by word of mouth...you had to either sink or swim.”
But swim he did - and now at 65, and after 40 years of being his own boss, he has no regrets about his eventual home.
“Griffith ended up being the winner of where we stayed and we’re getting closer to the coast,” he laughed.
“It has been good to me, Griffith has been a good town – since we came here everyone has been really friendly.
“It was hard to let the business go, it’s something you have built up and I have been here for a long time...but it was time to get out, time to let someone else come through.”
Taking over his practice are Canberra couple Cameron Mullins and Sunita Kumari, two former city livers already enjoying the serenity of their new rural lifestyle. “We actually came here last year for a dental conference and Brian showed us his place and after that we just decided to come here,” Ms Kumari said.