Forty six years ago Barrie Winn began studying at the Auckland School of Medicine, and after thirty six years in general practice will retire at the end of this year.
Starting at Little London Medical Centre in 1985, Barrie says it has been a privilege, and humbling, to be a family doctor for so many years.
"The gift of working in general practice has been caring for many wonderful whānau and families," he says. "Looking after three and sometimes four generations; now looking after the children of parents I delivered over 20 years ago back in the days when GPs assisted with most deliveries and were often up at nights and weekends, in addition to the daytime work..."
Alongside his wife, Dr Mary Margaret Vant, when not working with patients the two of them have enjoyed many intrepid adventures from backpacking Bali to England in the 1970's (clutching their Lonely Planet's original Across Asia on the Cheap and South East Asia on a Shoestring books) to this year's 300km 'Coast-to-Coast' walk across England.
Barrie was involved in Scouting for several years when his children were young, serving as Venturer leader with the Hillcrest Scout Group. Carrying on his enjoyment of physical pursuits he also embraced the training and discipline of Kyokushin at Davies Karate in Hillcrest, retiring as a 1st dan black belt two years ago.
In retirement Barrie says he is looking forward to having a lot of free time to do something different. As well as continuing the travel and walking holidays with Mary Margaret, he'll be taking care of their small block of land and various other interests that have been side-lined over years of very busy general practice.
Little London Medical Clinic was started more than 100 years ago by Dr Tim Rogers. The current owners, Hamilton based 'Activate Foundation Trust', intend it to still be operating 100 years from now, providing its boutique style of family general practice.
Dr Lesley Topping will be continuing at the practice, alongside Dr Dasna Pallie and Dr Rawiri Keenan.
Practice Manager Katrina Graham says Little London is especially delighted to be welcoming Dr Stephanie Cowie to the practice in January 2019. Stephanie has worked as a GP in the Waikato for several years and is very familiar with the Waikato people, culture, and Hamilton medical services.
"We think our practice will benefit hugely from the fresh talent, energy and up-to-date skill sets our new GPs bring to our patients' health care," Katrina says.