WEDNESDAY was an emotional day for a popular South Kirkby doctor who took early retirement – but he hasn't hung up his stethoscope for the last time.
Dr Dhirubhai Mistry, 58, who has been a general practitioner at Stockingate Surgery for 29 years, will be doing charitable work and offering his medical expertise overseas in a bid to bring happiness to under-privileged communities.
Dr Mistry, of Mill Lane, South Elmsall, said: “I have so many happy memories of living and working here.
“I have the local people to thank for making me so successful because they gave me so much love when I came to live here with my family.
“When the miners strike came I helped out in the soup kitchens at South Kirkby Cricket Club. It was then when I felt like I had become an adopted son to the place.
“I have tried to give my patients the same love back in my caring profession as they have offered me and by doing so I’ve worn their hearts in mine.”
When Dr Mistry was 15-years-old he was sent away from India by his parents to live with his uncle in Lancashire.
He graduated from the University of Manchester and trained to be a doctor at Barnsley District Hospital.
“My ambition was always to be a doctor but because I came from a poor family my father would say never to forget about helping the poor.
“I’ve already done some voluntary work in medical camps across the world but I could only visit for a few weeks each time and it didn’t feel as if I was making a great difference.
“I hope to go over to India in May for a few months, followed by Africa or wherever.”
Dr Mistry and his wife Susan will leave South Elmsall to live in Goa – so it will be easy for him to do his work in that region as well as in his nearby home village of Gujarat.
Their three children – design technology teacher Annand, Usha, who is doing teacher training at Manchester University, and Roshani, who is in her final year at John Moores University in Liverpool and plans to be an analytical chemist – are staying in England.
Dr Mistry is inviting all his patients to a leaving party at the South Kirkby Cricket Club on Saturday at 7pm.
He added: “I have received lots of gifts and cards from my patients, and I wanted to have a party to thank them all.”