Bagpiper Jim McKnight of the Mount Arrowsmith Pipe Band leads Dr. Stephen Noble to his office on Monday as well-wishers look on. Noble has announced his retirement. (Peter McCully photo)

Parksville doctor retires after 30 years at medical clinic

Staff, patients stage surprise party for Stephen Noble on his last day on the job

Some early morning bagpipes and celebrations awaited Dr. Stephen Noble on his last day at the doctor’s office Monday, after 30 years of practising in Parksville.

Noble said it was a complete surprise, but he had a hunch something was going on.

“My wife told me not to show up to work until after 8 o’clock, but I had no idea what to expect,” he said. “There was a piper and quite a few of my patients and all the staff and colleagues and ex-colleagues and, yeah, it was very nice. Unexpected.”

READ MORE: Solutions in sight for Parksville Qualicum Beach doctor shortage

Noble said his last day on the job is bringing up mixed emotions – it’s been three decades at the same office, the Parksville Medical Clinic.

“You have to give up a lot of patient contacts and relationships you developed over the years, but it’s time, time for the next chapter of my life,” he said.

In terms of what that next chapter will look like, Noble said he’s sure it will be busy.

“Travel plans, which will obviously be put on the back burner for now because of the COVID situation, but that’s for the future,” he said. “I’ve got grandchildren and a big yard to look after, lots of hobbies… I won’t be bored.”

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