Letter to the Editor: Vale Malcolm Stephen Stevens

I would like to notify colleagues that we have recently lost Malcolm Stephen ‘Steve’ Stevens, a contemporary of ‘Parky’ Parkinson, and another of our ‘elders’ from that amazing Queensland graduate year of 1951. ‘Steve’ was one of those larger than life and absolutely delightful eccentrics. I could quite literally write a very entertaining book about his life and exploits – and I don’t know the half of it!

I do wish that I could do an obituary for him, but he was very firm in his antemortem instructions – “No Obit, please promise me,” and this must be respected.

Very briefly though, ‘Steve’ was a thorough gentleman and a competent veterinarian, albeit an ‘old fashioned’ graduate, from the time when our profession was very much an art as well as a science. A career government veterinarian, he had a great love of livestock and of livestock production. At one time he had a substantial sheep grazing property in the St George district and in later years he ran a few hobby cattle on his awesome Highfields escarpment property – just because he enjoyed having his ‘beasties’!

He was a dab hand at displaced abomasa, which he would put to rights armed only with a girth rope to drop the patient – and maybe an arm glove on a good day. A measure of the man’s respect and care for his fellow man was his habit of expertly skinning ‘battler’-owned beasts that he had to autopsy in the course of his duties, so that the unfortunate owner at least had something left to cash in at the end of the day.

'Steve’ was universally held in great affection by his staff, his professional colleagues and his friends in the Masters swimming athletics and vintage car circles in which he moved.
Vale Malcolm Stephen Stevens.

Ian Wells OAM
Wellington Point, QLD

This article appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of the Australian Veterinary Journal

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