A North-east doctor has retired after 35 years as a GP at Crimond Medical Centre and more than 12 years as the company doctor at Score Group in Peterhead.
Dr Robert Murray’s recent retirement was marked on Friday, September 5 with a Stovies Dance at the Tufted Duck Hotel, St Combs.
Since 1979 he has been affectionately known as ‘Dr Bob’ to many of his patients in Crimond, St Fergus, Inverallochy, Cairnbulg, St Combs, Longside, Lonmay, Fetterangus, Memsie and Rathen.
Although the hanging-up of his stethoscope had been celebrated in July at a formal afternoon tea with presentations and speeches, the dance was another opportunity for more than 100 friends, patients and colleagues to show their appreciation and thanks in the relaxed and comfortable setting of the Tufted Duck.
In fact, the emphasis throughout the Country and Western themed event was on informality, with everyone free to exchange stories and anecdotes relating to the popular doctor’s long and active association with their local communities.
In a short welcoming speech Ann Bell, Chairperson of the Crimond Practice Equipment Fund, thanked the sponsors of the event, and in particular Lesley Ann Ritchie and her team at the Tufted Duck for hosting proceedings and, of course, providing the stovies later on.
Conrad Ritchie, a Trustee of Crimond Charitable Trust and a patient of Dr Bob since his own childhood days in St Combs, then paid tribute to the man whom he described as ‘one of the most highly respected GPs in the North-East’.
This respect is clearly related to the fact that Bob was seen by many patients as a friend and neighbour as well as an excellent doctor, a fact which contributed to some appointments over-running considerably!
During intervals between the Dashing White Sergeant, and other dances and music provided by Steven Ransom’s band, Bob and Rosemary were constantly chatting with ‘weel-kent folk’, some of whom were able to say that Bob had been their doctor ever since the Caithness-born, Aberdeen University graduate had started his medical career at Crimond back in 1979.
Bob and Rosemary are heading off to Tuscany for a well-earned family holiday, after which it is hoped that they will return for a long and happy retirement in their home patch where they have made so many friends over the years.
As an indication of Bob’s ability and popularity as a local GP, over £2,000 was raised on the night for the Crimond Practice Equipment Fund.
The organisers and CPEF committee members are grateful to many local individuals and businesses, including Elaine Brown and Donalds of Peterhead for supplying the two auction items.