Leader of the plaque


This won’t hurt a bit

Yesterday one of the Dodgy Perth team had to undergo dental surgery. Being somewhat of a nervous disposition, they had successfully put this off for a number of weeks by inventing various unmissable meetings. But finally, the coward submitted to the chair.

Which made us wonder who Perth’s worst ever dentist was. The answer is Harry Derepas. Actually Harry wasn’t a dentist, just a dental assistant employed at Massey Crosse’s dental surgery on William Street. But small details like that weren’t going to stop him.

In November 1923 Lily Edwards, who worked at the Savoy Hotel, visited Harry for a regular check-up. He informed her she needed three gold fillings along with a scale and clean. He then proceeded to drill out a nerve and injected something into her gums.

In immense pain, Lily got back home to discover her gums had turned black and the pain was getting worse and worse. So she went back to Harry who took two swabs and told her the tooth would need to come out, which she agreed to.

This was not a success and poor Lily’s mouth became so septic a vile stench was given off.

Now the story takes a turn towards the weird. In the course of duty a policeman may sometimes be required to do more than just arrest drunks. But how many have been asked to sacrifice a tooth to an unregistered dentist in order to gather evidence?

This is precisely what an unfortunate probationary constable was ordered to do. He was given five shillings and sent to the William Street surgery to ask for a tooth out. The fee was paid and the tooth duly extracted by Harry.

Waiting outside the building was Constable Baumgarten who then entered and arrested Harry for practicing without a license.

We hope the probationer got some kind of medal for going above and beyond the call of duty.