Tetbury GP Dr Tony Walsh has retired after 39 years in the town
A POPULAR doctor who has been treating patients in Tetbury for 39 years is celebrating his retirement.
Dr Tony Walsh, 65, moved to Tetbury in 1973 to work at the Romney House Surgery after growing up in a working class family in Hull.
He described medicine as “a passport to social success”.
“I eventually became the confidant of everyone from princes upward,” he added.
Among Dr Walsh’s many responsibilities included training medical students and delivering babies at Malmesbury’s now-closed maternity unit.
“One of my last patients was a lady who came to me saying my mum told me you delivered me so I know I can trust you,” he said. “I’ve even delivered children of children I delivered.”
His achievements reach far beyond medicine, however, and he currently serves as deputy mayor on Tetbury Town Council and is involved in a range of other organisations including the Tetbury Hospital League of Friends and the Dolphins Recreation Ground Committee.
He said he was passionate about his community work, adding: “I strongly believe that you have to put back what you get out of a community.”
Dr Walsh said none of his work would have been possible without the support of his wife of 44 years Ann, who he described as “the love of my life”
“I couldn’t have done it without her support,” he said. “It’s been a team effort.”
His retirement was marked at a packed party at the Dolphins Hall, where patients past and present along with friends and colleagues met to celebrate his work for the town.
Speaking at the event, Tetbury mayor Cllr Rob McCorkell thanked Dr Walsh for his support as deputy mayor and paid tribute to his work for the town.
“You rarely meet anyone so generous with his time and his knowledge,” he said.
“He feels an abiding obligation to everyone in this town and always puts everyone before himself.”
Dr Walsh said he was overwhelmed by the messages of thanks he had received on his retirement.
“One woman came up to me and said “thank you for saving my life 20 years ago” – I was nearly in tears,” he said.
“To Ann and myself you in Tetbury are everything,” he said.
“We’ve invested a life in this town and we’ve been repaid enormously.”
Dr Walsh said he had no intention of taking it easy in his retirement.
“I think if I sat down on my backside for too long I’d wither away,” he said.
“I am enjoying not having to get up at 7am though.”
For a full set of pictures from the retirement party, see the linked picture gallery.