Dr. Roy, a proud Cana­dian

Cel­e­brat­ing the life of long-serv­ing Har­bour Grace den­tist Leroy Good­win

The Compass - - OPINION - BYMELISSA JENK­INS Melis­sa_­jenk­ins@tc.tc

Dr. W. LeRoy Good­win — who is fondly known as Dr. Roy — of Har­bour Grace had prac­ticed den­tistry in the town for 66 years, long af­ter many would have put down their den­tal drills.

At 96 years of age, Dr. Roy was still an icon in the town of some 3,200 res­i­dents.

He passed away Sept. 13 sur­rounded by fam­ily at his home, but the spirit, ded­i­ca­tion and pas­sion he had for his pro­fes­sion, the or­ga­ni­za­tions he vol­un­teered with and his coun­try will live on.

Ded­i­cated den­tist

Loved so­cial­iza­tion

Dr. Roy was not your typ­i­cal den­tist. In fact, he of­ten made house calls through­out his ca­reer.

Don­ald Good­win, Dr. Roy’s son who re­sides in Ger­many, re­mem­bers when he used to take him along to the oc­ca­sional call.

Don ex­plains that he used to tag along for com­pany, or some­times just out of sheer bore­dom. He would play out­side while his fa­ther tended to his pa­tients.

An­other mem­ory that Don and his brother Ian re­mem­ber is how their fa­ther used to get emer­gency calls at home.

“The phone would ring late at night and dad would go to work,” Ian says, not­ing it didn’t mat­ter who was on the other end of the call, he would make sure he was avail­able.

Ian stopped him from tak­ing af­ter-hour calls in the later years of his ca­reer.

Dr. Roy was very ded­i­cated to his busy life, spend­ing much of his time at his prac­tice or at meet­ings for one of the dozens of or­ga­ni­za­tions he was part of.

Dr. Roy had a large num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties that he took part in, but most notably was his bridge games.

The broth­ers say card play­ers would stay un­til the “wee hours” of the morn­ing.

“One of his reg­u­lar bridge bud­dies was ( for­mer New­found­land Pre­mier) Frank Moores,” Don ex­claimed.

Moores was from Car­bon­ear and would reg­u­larly visit his friend. They al­ways kept in touch.

Long­time friend and col­league Dr. James Darcy con­firmed his love for bridge in Dr. Roy’s eu­logy. He emailed a copy to The Com­pass.

“When I told him I was play­ing du­pli­cate bridge, he made it pos­si­ble for the two of us to be­come a team and com­pete in tour­na­ments,” Darcy wrote.

Dr. Roy would also en­joy vis­i­tors who would just stop by. His sons say he could not cook at all, but made it up to his guests by mak­ing them an ex­cep­tional cup of tea.

Not much of a trav­eller

One of his other pas­sions was so­cial­iz­ing with his den­tal col­leagues and for­mer class­mates of the Univer­sity of Toronto.

“I’m sure he only trav­elled to be so­cial,” Don says, not­ing his fa­ther was not one for va­ca­tion­ing.

Dr. Roy did do a bit of trav­el­ling for work, to take cour­ses, for re­u­nions and for con­fer­ences. He flew to Toronto, Van­cou­ver and San Diego, but never took the time to ap­pre­ci­ate the cities, the sons re­call. He was happy as long as he was in­ter­act­ing.

Dr. Roy trav­elled to Europe in 2003 for the first time.

Al­though he was sup­posed to be on va­ca­tion, Dr. Roy did not see many of the sights in any of the coun­tries he vis­ited. He would rather visit places that were con­nected to his vol­un­teer ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing the ma­sonic lodge.

“He went to a ma­son meet­ing in Ed­in­burgh (Grand Lodge),” son-in-law Ver­non Whet­ter ex­plains.

“When he went through Cologne (Ger­many) on the train, he looked out the win­dow and saw the Cologne Cathe­dral,” Don says. “That was the ex­tent of it.”

Cana­dian pa­triot

One thing that Dr. Roy was very pas­sion­ate about was his love for Canada. He was born be­fore New­found­land joined Con­fed­er­a­tion but his par­ents were born in Canada.

Joey Small­wood was a close friend of Dr. Roy. They were both pro-Con­fed­er­ates and were al­ways in con­tact.

“There was a boat com­ing into Har­bour Grace and dad re­ceived a call from (Small­wood),” Don says. “He had to go down to the har­bour and talk with the sea­men about join­ing Canada.”

Al­though Dr. Roy was a Cana­dian pa­triot, he also loved his home prov­ince.

“Some­one at the fu­neral said he loved ev­ery rock in New­found­land, and he did,” Don ex­plains.

Ac­com­plish­ments

Dr. Roy had so many ac­com­plish­ments fam­ily and friends could not name them all, but they did high­light a few im­por­tant ones in his obituary.

He was a life­long mem­ber of the Cana­dian Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion, for­mer board mem­ber for Car­bon­ear Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, vol­un­teered with the Cana­dian Red Cross and was a mem­ber of the Navy League of Canada.

Dr. Roy was also very com­mit­ted to his home­town, join­ing the Har­bour Grace re­gatta com­mit­tee, the Har­bour Grace sta­dium com­mit­tee and worked at his own den­tal prac­tice in the town for 66 years.

Har­bour Grace has lost a strong and prom­i­nent mem­ber of the town, but fam­ily and friends say he will not soon be for­got­ten.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Dr. W. LeRoy Good­win — known by most as Dr. Roy — passed away Sept. 13 but has left be­hind sme fond mem­o­ries to those he has touched through­out his 96 years.

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