Community

Doctor packs up stethoscope

Dr Thomas Fiay prepares for semi-retirement.
Dr Thomas Fiay prepares for semi-retirement. Adam Hourigan

HAVING just turned 70, Dr Thomas Fiay reluctantly agreed to go into semi-retirement last week.

A familiar face to patients at the Jacaranda Health clinic in Grafton, Dr Fiay bought the practice from Dr Ray Jones in 1999.

In order to achieve accreditation, he moved the practice to larger premises across the road in Pound St in 2000 and even though he sold the centre to its current owner Patricia Tracey of Grafton in 2010, he remained on as a GP.

Born on the island of Waigeo, West Papua, Dr Fiay described an idyllic childhood in his coastal fishing village of Kabare.

He continued his education on the New Guinea mainland under the Dutch system before winning a scholarship to a high school in Hollandia.

"The deputy director (of Education) came and said 'hands up those who want to go to Port Moresby to study to be a doctor'," Dr Fiay said.

He and a friend thought "why not?" and the pair began their six-year medical degree.

After working several years in Papua and marrying his first wife Carole, Dr Fiay moved to Sydney in 1972 with two young children and began work at the Parramatta District Hospital.

He lived in Sydney for 15 years before moving to Parkes in 1986 where he married his second wife Kathryn in 1994, the first marriage ending in 1983.

The couple moved to Grafton in 1999 and purchased Dr Jones' practice before another divorce in 2004. Dr Fiay met his current wife Rhonda at the Salvation Army Church in May 2006 and married her 16 months later.

Dr Fiay said he would continue doing nursing home visits and private visits but was concerned he may be "bored stiff" in retirement.

Topics:  doctor, grafton




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Roller derby takes on Grafton

Jammer Kira Campbell tries to get around a blocker from the opposing team at the Grafton Sports Centre on Saturday, May 28.

Roller Derby scrimmage takes on Grafton.

Salvos call for poverty to be key election issue

HELP NEEDED: Major Colin Young says the lack of affordable housing in the Clarence Valley is causing problems for an increasing amount of people. The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal is on this weekend.

National survey reveals extent of regional poverty.

What's on the small screen this week

Iain Glen, Hunter Page-Lochard and Rob Collins star in the TV series Cleverman.

YOUR guide to what's on the telly this week.

Latest deals and offers

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest