Dr. Parnis has led an interesting and colourful life beginning in Malta where he was
born in 1923. His memoirs, aptly titled Of No Fixed Address takes the reader through
his childhood in Malta, University there during the difficult period of war when
Malta was virtually isolated and had very little food - Christmas brought special
rations of 'beans and candles’ his early years as a young doctor, later specialising in
surgery (he once opened the throat of a child with his penknife thus saving its life) and
his working life in Canada, Malta, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea and finally Australia
where he now lives.
His many anecdotes about his family, interspersed with his travels to many
European countries, his political awareness and spiritual values, from 1923 to 1990,
make lively reading. Personally, however, I should have liked to learn more about life
in Nigeria for an expatriate in the early 1950s. Dr. Parnis only rarely gives us an insight
into the difficulties he and his family must have experienced in settling down there.
Similarly, when he spent two years in a Mission hospital in Papua New Guinea we are
told very little about every day life there. Perhaps this is for another book?
Having said that, anyone who enjoys reading of other people’s lives, his family,
friends and former colleagues (many of them mentioned in the book) will find Dr.
Parnis’s memoirs of interest.