COMMUNITY is what Dr Ian Cormack and his wife Karen have centred their lives on over the last 30 years, so it was fitting that it was the community who led the celebrations of the Hughenden GP’s departure.
Hughenden local Catherine Egan organised the send-off celebration held at Hughenden’s Brodie Street Park last Wednesday March 27 as someone who knew Dr Cormack from different angles – as concerned parent, patient, and colleague.
More than 100 people attended the send-off, where Dr Cormack was presented a Certificate of Appreciation from the local Queensland Ambulance Service for his years of service.
The Hughenden Town and Country Club also used the night to honour Dr Cormack’s contribution to the community with the establishment of a bursary in his name at James Cook University for students looking to enrol in a health-related course.
Dr Cormack first came to Hughenden almost 30 years ago, in September 1984, with his wife Karen and their three young children.
Mrs Egan recalled that Mrs Cormack was initially a teacher, and was involved in the community through 10 years service to the Flinders Shire Council.
However, for the past 20 years Mrs Cormack dedicated her life to the Hughenden surgery where her husband worked as the practice manager.
Mrs Egan said Dr Cormack was an honourable GP who always had time for everybody.
“It didn’t have to be a dire emergency – he would always see everyone on the day,” Mrs Egan said.
“He bulk billed everybody and he did that because it was affordable and he believed everyone should have the same access regardless of their financial situation,” she said.
“He could have charged a mint because he was the only doctor, but he didn’t.”
The Flinders Shire Council and Hughenden Chamber of Commerce financed the evening, and the local Ambulance and Fire and Rescue Service were in charge of the barbecue.
Mrs Egan said that the week before his send-off, a morning tea was held for Dr Cormack at the Hughenden Hospital for about 30 current and former employees.
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