Carleton North community wishes medical brothers happy retirement

by | Apr 23, 2024

Doctors Bruce and Colin Lockhart are part of Lockhart’s medical legacy in western New Brunswick

By Sandra Hanson and Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The stormy weather held off long enough for Carleton North residents to wish two beloved doctors a happy retirement at a luncheon organized by the Bath Lions Club and sponsored by the District of Carleton North on Saturday, March 23, at Bath’s Knights of Columbus Hall. 

Drs. Colin and Bruce Lockhart, who served the community of Bath and surrounding areas for over 40 years, retired at the end of February. Dr. Bruce Lockhart, the eldest at 70, started practicing medicine in July 1980. He spent four years in Saskatchewan before returning home to Bath. Dr. Colin Lockhart, two years his brother’s junior, started practicing in September 1982. He, too, spent time working out west before returning to Bath.

The brothers are part of a family medicine dynasty that started in 1908 with their grandfather, Dr. Jim Lockhart. Three more generations of Lockhart doctors followed, with their father, both brothers and now Dr. Bruce Lockhart’s son, Stuart, also choosing to practice family medicine. 

Dr. Bruce Lockhart was quick to point out that the family hasn’t just produced doctors but also nurses. 

“My grandmother was a nurse, my mother was a nurse, my wife is a nurse, and I have a daughter who is a nurse!” 

Dr. Colin Lockhart also has a daughter who is a nurse.

When asked what they planned to do with their retirement, Dr. Bruce Lockhart laughed and said, “Sleep for three months!” 

He noted that fatigue had begun to take over his life in recent years and that he was looking forward to having more time for his family. 

The luncheon was well attended by former patients, colleagues, and friends, and laughter filled the air as stories about the doctors were shared. 

Former patients, friends, and colleagues attended the luncheon to offer their well wishes to the Lockhart doctors. (Sandra Hanson photo)

Everyone had kind words for the retirees, and it was clear that the community would deeply feel the loss of their beloved doctors. 

Edna Budrow said she had been a patient with the Lockhart doctors since 1956. 

“Dr. Colin delivered all of my babies – and I have five of them!” 

She described him as a “good doctor with a good bedside manner.”

Adam Stone shared that he had been a patient of the Lockhart doctors for 45 years, ever since he was born. 

“They’re good men,” he remarked. “They’re just good community people and it’s a shame to have them go.”

Dr. Gary Beatty and his wife, Jantje, attended the luncheon as former colleagues. Dr. Beatty informed River Valley Sun that he and the two Lockhart doctors regularly interacted through the Carleton Victoria Medical Society. 

“They are great guys, so solid and pleasant.” Jantje added, “There was never any drama with those two. They just did their job and were pillars of their community.”

District of Carleton North Councillor Scott Oakes was also in attendance. 

He said he’s been a friend and patient of Dr. Colin Lockhart “most of my life.”

He noted the considerable loss their retirement means for the community, mentioning specifically what “great community advocates” they were for their community and the Carleton North Medical Clinic. 

On behalf of the District of Carleton North, Oakes wished the doctors well in all their “future endeavours.”

Gerald Sullivan of the Bath Lions Club said that besides honouring the Lockharts’ medical legacy in Bath and surrounding communities, it raised money for the River Valley Cancer Support Group. 

The Bath Lions Club donate $4,000 to the River Valley Cancer Support Group on behalf of Dr. Bruce Lockhart and Dr. Colin Lockhart. Left to right: Lion Gerald Sullivan, Dr. Bruce Lockhart, Brenda Dyer (Vice President, River Valley Cancer Support Group), Dr. Colin Lockhart, and Tracey Johnston (Secretary, River Valley Cancer Support Group). The funds were raised from the retirement dinner held by the Bath Lions Club for Dr. Bruce and Dr. Colin at the Knights of Columbus Hall on March 23. (Submitted photo)

The appreciation dinner raised $4,000, which Sullivan, on behalf of the Lions Club, and the Lockhart brothers presented to Brenda Dyer and Tracey Johnston, vice president and secretary, respectively, of the cancer support group. 

Sullivan said the dinner allowed residents to emphasize Lockhard’s impact on the community. 

“Guest speakers reminisced about the doctors’ careers, gave personal accounts of the care received from both doctors and thanked them for their service to the Northern Carleton Hospital, Riverview Manor, and Upper River Valley Hospital,” Sullivan said. “The former Bath Hospital staff were acknowledged, many who gathered for the evening to reacquaint, celebrate and tell stories of the years served at the hospital.”

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