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GPs 'touched' by generosity of public at retirement presentation in Castletown


By Gordon Calder

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TWO Castletown-based GPs were prescribed the right medicine for their retirement at a special presentation in the village.

Dr Wilma Macleod and Dr Herc Robinson were "overwhelmed and touched" when they received a number of gifts from the public after spending almost 40 years between them at the Canisbay and Castletown Group Practice.

The presentation to the GPs took place in the Drill Hall, Castletown and included from left: Billy Dunbar, chairman of the Castletown and District Community Council; community councillors, John Calder and Lorna Ryan, a staff member at the GP surgery; Colin Hossack, also a community councillor who organised the event; Dr Herc Robinson; Dr Wilma Macleod and Beatrice Farmer from the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council. Also pictured are some of the gifts received by the GPs to mark their retirement from the Canisbay and Castletown Group Practice. Pictures: Mel Roger
The presentation to the GPs took place in the Drill Hall, Castletown and included from left: Billy Dunbar, chairman of the Castletown and District Community Council; community councillors, John Calder and Lorna Ryan, a staff member at the GP surgery; Colin Hossack, also a community councillor who organised the event; Dr Herc Robinson; Dr Wilma Macleod and Beatrice Farmer from the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council. Also pictured are some of the gifts received by the GPs to mark their retirement from the Canisbay and Castletown Group Practice. Pictures: Mel Roger

A total of £2370 was raised in the community and the money used to buy a wide selection of presents, including appropriately for dog enthusiasts a couple of life-size model Labradors, a garden bench with dogs on the back and a cast of a Spaniel. They also received a bird table, a coffee table, two Caithness prints, a bottle of Wolfburn whisky and a handbag and scarf. The gesture was much appreciated by the GPs who described it as "a lovely surprise."

Dr Macleod, who is 59 and comes from Ullapool but was brought up in Stornoway, was a locum GP in the Highlands and Islands before moving to Castletown in 1998.

"We have been overwhelmed and touched by the lovely presents and messages and how generous people have been," she said.

Dr Macleod enjoyed her time in Caithness and said she has been "very lucky" to have worked and lived here.

She is looking forward to her retirement and plans to travel – Covid-permitting – and have more time for the dogs and hobbies such as walking.

Dr Hercules Robinson and Dr Wilma Macleod with the gifts they received from the public following their retirement.
Dr Hercules Robinson and Dr Wilma Macleod with the gifts they received from the public following their retirement.

Dr Robinson came to the practice in 2005 – a year after it merged with Canisbay – and says his time here was "a great end to my GP career".

"It is a lovely place to live and a fantastic place to work. We were not expecting anything so people's generosity has been totally overwhelming. The presents and the cards have been very touching. The presentation was a lovely surprise," he said.

Dr Robinson, who is 72, was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) but moved to the UK when he was young. He worked in various parts of the country, including England and Wales before moving to Caithness where he stayed until his retirement in January.

He wants to spend time travelling, taking photographs, walking the dogs and fishing and "hopefully, catching a lot of salmon."

Colin Hossack, the Castletown community councillor, who organised the event, said: "It really came as no surprise that we raised such an amazing amount of money. Wilma and Herc were both popular and highly respected GPs. I would like to thank the community for their generous donations and the doctors for their many years of dedicated and compassionate care. We all wish them well in their retirement".

The presentation took place in the Drill Hall but due to Covid restrictions it could not be a public event.

"It went really well. Wilma and Herc were absolutely thrilled and touched by people's generosity," added Mr Hossack.

Beatrice Farmer represented the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council.


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