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GP retires after 34 years' service

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: April 03, 2014

GOODBYE: Dr Martin Mather on his last day.

GOODBYE: Dr Martin Mather on his last day.

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A GP who has worked at an Ilfracombe surgery for 34 years has retired.

Last Wednesday was Dr Martin Mather's final shift at the Waterside Practice.

He will miss "being with people, journeying through life with people and working alongside them in joy and grief".

But Dr Mather is looking forward to going out on his boat, gardening and taking on the role of president of Ilfracombe Rotary Club.

He decided to be a doctor at the age of six because he wanted to cure his grandmother of arthritis.

After training in London he moved to Ilfracombe, where he had spent his honeymoon.

"It's been great to be part of the community and serve the community as a doctor," he said. "There have been a lot of changes in the way the general practice works and the way it relates to the community.

"The emphasis has changed from coughs and colds to looking after the kinds of long term conditions we used to refer to the hospital."

Dr Mather said he had got to know patients well over the years, adding: "I'm now looking after children of children of children and that longitudinal work is quite fascinating.

"I'll miss it but I'll continue to live in the town and see people at Tesco, as friends."

He said packing up his things on his last day felt odd, as if he were going on holiday.

But his calendar is already filling up with training for becoming the president of Ilfracombe Rotary Club, gardening, boating and driving his Alpha Romeo Spider Lusso.

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