Former Tokoroa GP honoured
When Barry Knight arrived to Tokoroa to start a new job in medicine, he never expected to leave half a century later with a Queen’s Service Medal.
The former Tokoroa GP retired late last year, after working for 50 years in various parts of the medical profession.
And this year his efforts were recognised at one of the highest levels.
‘‘I had absolutely no idea. I am shocked, deeply moved, but delighted to receive this recognition at the end of my career.’’
His send off into retirement from Tokoroa to Whangamata was met with ‘‘generous tributes’’ from mayor Neil Sinclair, Taupo MP Louise Upston, colleagues, and patients.
The gathering of sorts was ‘‘informal’’ and ‘‘full of fun and frivolity’’, not knowing what would come a few months later, he said.
‘‘Had I known at the time that I was soon to receive a royal honour, I may have conducted myself with a little more decorum at the staff function.’’
Knight arrived to Tokoroa in 1965 as a general practitioner and anaesthetist at the hospital.
The intention was only ever to save money before moving to Britain.
Yet the small town charm grabbed hold of him and never let go. ‘‘ We enjoyed it so much and made so many friends we stayed 50 years.’’
In that time he’s been on the emergency medical roster for after-hours service and put himself at the forefront with road accident call outs.
Not only that, Knight assisted with more than 2000 child births – yet that wouldn’t have been an unattainable number as he arrived to a flourishing town.
‘‘Tokoroa was a booming South Waikato timber town with a young population of 19,000 and a high birth rate.’’
His career was ‘‘challenging’’, to say the least, but luckily he had his peers and community right beside him.
‘‘I have had a long and eventful medical journey in Tokoroa with some quite exceptional colleagues. . .It was a journey I could not have made without the support of my loving wife Judith.’’
‘‘This medal will always remind me of Tokoroa, a town and community we loved in the 60s, always have and still do.’’
Former Tokoroa doctor Barry Knight is stunned about his Queen’s