WARM tributes were paid to Dr Jim Duck on Friday, as two special benches at Castle Douglas Primary Care Centre were dedicated in his memory.
Family, friends and former colleagues gathered on a sunny February morning to remember the late, well-loved GP, whose sudden passing in 2017 had a major impact on the local community.
Representatives of Dalbeattie Men’s Shed had been commissioned to create two picnic benches which will now sit in the grounds of Gardenhill and have plaques bearing the doctor’s name.
Explaining the background, practice manager Campbell Watt said: “Jim was an incredibly important element of the Castle Douglas Medical Group and the wider health team for many years and although he had retired from the practice as a partner, he continued to love the job and his patients. He frequently returned to the practice as a locum GP.
“Outwith the practice he was also an integral part of the local community with his involvement with the local church and the local rugby team.
“We were saddened when he suddenly passed away in 2017. After time to grieve his loss, there was a strong feeling that we wanted a lasting memorial to our friend and colleague.
“Discussions took place, and it was decided to create two benches, which we expect to be very well used by patients and staff alike.
“The position of the bench at the rear of the building was where Jim could frequently be found at lunchtime and it seemed an entirely appropriate way to remember him.
“Not to forget his patients which he dearly loved, a bench has also been placed at the entrance of the building for them to use.
“We expect the dedications on the bench will cause those who knew him some very fond memories.”
Robin Gilchrist was one of the representatives of Dalbeattie Men’s Shed who helped create the benches and were present on Friday.
He said: “We were very enthusiastic about doing this. Quite a few of the local men knew of Dr Duck. I certainly did; he wasn’t my doctor, but he looked after a number of my relatives.
“He was a big part of the community, definitely.”
Many members of Dr Duck’s family attended the dedication event at Gardenhill including his daughter Jennie Duck, who spoke about her father.
Jennie said: “We’re privileged, and I know that dad would be really pleased.
“This health centre was a really big part of his life – he worked here for over half of his life – and he loved it. He loved being a GP, getting to know his community, he was part of a really good team, and he put an awful lot into it in terms of his time and energy and passion, and he got a lot out of it as well.
“So I’m sure he’d be pretty chuffed that he was remembered like this, long-term.”
Addressing the strength of affection within the community for Dr Duck, Jennie added: “That’s something that his family are really proud of. He was a good man, a good dad, and a good doctor, and it’s really nice that people will remember that.”