By Mark Squibb | Vol. 12 No. 5 (March 7 2019)
Dr. Thomas McGarry, who has served out of his Trepassey office for roughly four decades, is retiring.
Or at least 'semi-retiring.'
The doctor, who has been a well-respected, even beloved, institution of sorts when it comes to medical matters on the Southern Avalon, but reticent of taking any acclaim, did not wish to do a full interview. He confirmed that he will be dropping his clinic hours at the end March, but said he will still make house calls.
"He certainly took care of the residents here in Portugal Cove South and in the whole area for a long time," said Portugal Cove South Mayor Clarence Molloy.
"Dr. McGarry has been serving St. Mary’s right down to the Southern Shore. People come up from Ferryland and Renews, all those places, to Trepassey to see Dr. McGarry.”
Molloy admitted it is a shock for those who have had McGarry for so long.
McGarry, now believed to be in his 70s, has long been noted for working nearly inhuman numbers of hours without complaint and serving as a reliable source of medical help for people in the region.
"The only thing that is a bit of a relief is that he is going to be available, and that he is going to do some house calls," said the mayor
Molloy said the doctor was held in high regard.
"He served us well. He saved a good many lives here in Trepassey- including my father," said Molloy.
McGarry was out hunting- a favorite pastime of his- when he got the call that Thomas Molloy had suffered a heart attack.
"He came on his way home and revived him. He had to be rushed to St. John's, but lived for a good 10 years after that," recalled Molloy.
"You could call him anytime," he added.
When contacted, a representative of Eastern Health told the Irish Loop Post that they are working on enhancing health care in the area and that they are continuing their effort to recruit family doctors.
Ferryland MHA Keith Hutchings said he has been in talks with Eastern Health regarding a potential shortage of healthcare in the wake of McGarry's retirement, and added he expects action from Eastern Health in the coming weeks.
Eastern Health currently operates facilities and services in Ferryland, St. Mary's and Mount Carmel.