Popular, caring vet remembered
By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
GLADSTONE residents farewelled their favourite vet Dr Neil Harbison for the final time this week.
Dr Harbison died in Brisbane last Friday from complications following a blood infection. He was 69.
Wildlife carer Monique Scott had a long association with Dr Harbison.
'He had a gruff exterior but underneath it all he was a very compassionate man,' Ms Scott said
'I remember an instance when we had a horrific horse injury.
'The horse had run into a fence and opened its chest up.
'Neil came out in the middle of the night and performed an extraordinary feat.
"Instead of stitching the wound normally, he sewed it together using large buttons.
'It looked quite strange but it took the pressure off the wound so it didn't open up whenever the horse moved.
'It worked brilliantly and healed beautifully.
'That was just him. He'd come out day or night and if you threw an animal in your car and went to his place in the dead of night it was no worries.'
Neil Harbison was also a loyal member of the Rotary Club of Gladstone for many years.
According to his son Peter, his father took a quiet pride both in being one of the club's youngest presidents as well as being awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship medal, one of the highest accolades that can be awarded a member of Rotary.
'Dad touched countless numbers of peoples lives, both as a vet and a counsellor,' Peter reminisced.
'He was an incredibly caring and kind clinician who took great pride in his work and the service he was able to provide to his clients.'