Among the many talents and skills which made the late Dr Jim Duck such a popular figure in the Castle Douglas area was the friendly ‘bedside manner’ which helped nervous patients relax.
Now these patients, still mourning his sudden death in 2017, have banded together to create a very appropriate memorial to him and located it in one of his favourite places.
His former patients, family, friends and colleagues all gathered at a ceremony to dedicate to his memory two public picnic benches outside his workplace at the Castle Douglas Primary Care Centre at Gardenhill.
Members of Dalbeattie Men’s Shed group had been commissioned to create the benches which have plaques bearing the doctor’s name.
Explaining the background, practice manager Campbell Watt said: “Jim was an incredibly important element of the Castle Douglas Medical Group and the wider health team for many years and although he had retired from the practice as a partner, he continued to love the job and his patients.
“He frequently returned to the practice as a locum GP.
“Outwith the practice he was also an integral part of the local community with his involvement with the local church and the local rugby team.
“We were saddened when he suddenly passed away in 2017. After time to grieve his loss, there was a strong feeling that we wanted a lasting memorial to our friend and colleague.
“Discussions took place, and it was decided to create two benches, which we expect to be very well used by patients and staff alike.
“The position of the bench at the rear of the building was where Jim could frequently be found at lunchtime and it seemed an entirely appropriate way to remember him.
“Not to forget his patients, which he dearly loved, a bench has also been placed at the entrance of the building for them to use.
“We expect the dedications on the bench will cause those who knew him to recall some very fond memories.”
Robin Gilchrist of the Dalbeattie Men’s Shed group, commented: “We were very enthusiastic about doing this. Quite a few of the local men knew of Dr Duck.
“I certainly did; he wasn’t my doctor, but he looked after a number of my relatives. He was a big part of the community.”
Said Dr Duck’s daughter, Jennie: “We’re privileged and I know that dad would be really pleased. He was a good man, a good dad, and a good doctor.”