There used to be a popular saying in Merewether in the 70s, according to locals: “If there is something wrong go to Godfrey Fong and it won't be wrong for long.”
It was Godfrey Fong’s ability to ease people’s pain and help with other ailments that made him well-known and well-regarded around town.
Now, as his son Raoul Fong takes over the family acupuncture business, it is with a passion to continue the legacy his father started 45 years ago.
“My business vision is to do what my father has always done here in Newcastle and that’s to treat the masses with pain, to stop pain,” Raoul said.
Godfrey Fong was Newcastle’s first acupuncturist. He initially opened a practice in “Hunter Village” on Hunter Street before moving his business to 22 Burwood Street, Merewether 37 years ago. He has now retired and Fong Acupuncture enjoys a new home at 128 Glebe Road, next to John Earle Studios.
Raoul is a fourth-generation acupuncturist and studied for eight years at the Australian College of Natural Medicine in Brisbane before joining the family business.
It was a career path the 42-year-old father of three was always going to take.
“It was just something that I was always going to do, I never thought I was going to do anything else,” Raoul said.
“I was brought up with it and I started doing it when I was 10 or 11 years of age.
“It was that family trait that has been handed down the line and it’s a really rewarding job. You get to help people of all ages.”
Acupuncture, he said, is a holistic way of healing that is drug free and has a range of benefits for a range of people.
It has been shown to ease muscular aches and pains as well as be of benefit to people suffering stress and anxiety, undergoing IVF as well as respiratory issues and skin conditions, among other things.
Raoul said acupuncture was often “the last resort” for people but was gaining in popularity as the natural benefits were realised.
“What I am good with is pain, to stop pain, and we’ve always been really quite good at it and we take that confidence in how busy we are,” he said.