After almost 34 years of being on call, Dr Garry Lyford is putting his feet up.
Yep, he's hung up his stethoscope for the last time, officially retiring from Gloucester Medical Centre on December 5, 2019.
Garry's journey as one of the community's most trusted general practitioners began in a house on Queen Street. On March 3, 1986, Garry and his wife, Julie, made the move from Muswellbrook to Gloucester after purchasing the Queen Street medical practice and home from Neil McIndoe.
The couple made the move after falling in love with the town.
"We were looking to live in a country town. When we came to Gloucester on a day in 1985, it is was wet and bleak. It appealed to Julie as it reminded her of an English village," Garry smiled.
Not only did Garry start his first independent practice in Gloucester, but he and Julie also started their family here, with their first child arriving four months after they moved. And so, Garry has been an integral part of the community ever since, being the doctor for up to as many as four generations of family members.
In the mid-90s, Garry joined forces with the town's other medical centre to build a premises on King Street which remained Gloucester's medical centre until the new building on Denison Street opened in late 2014.
Garry became a doctor as he thought it was a great way to feel like he was helping people.
"And I thought it would be an academic challenge," he smiled.
And in the end, he achieved both.
"What I've seen as I was starting to say goodbye to patients, was the trust they had for me," Garry said. "To be so trusted, that's a unique thing.
"When you say goodbye, you realise how fond you are of your patients and colleagues."
But Garry also realised that the relationships he'd built with his patients went beyond the medical centre.
"I've delivered some of the people who I know, work and socialise with."
Now that Garry has retired, he is ready to take on his new role as a grandfather, and spend more time working on things within the community that he's been wanting to do.