A little about me
I qualified as a dental surgeon having trained at Kings College, University of London. I graduated in 1973. I practised as an independent dentist, initially in London and then took over a Midland family practice.
I served with the Reserve Forces in the Royal Naval Reserve; my warfare duties only required medical skills, so most of my service time was fortuitously educational, welfare and training duties. I served as new recruit Training Officer, Sports and Adventure Training Officer and Tactical Communications Divisional Officer.
My time was occupied educating and training young men and women. That was a great privilege and honour; helping these young people taught me more about duty and service than all my previous education.
I was retired from the reserve list, by age at 50 years old. I ceased active duties shortly before settling on Shetland, and left the service with the rank of Surgeon Lieutenant Commander(D)
The Move to Shetland
As my mother was raised in Glasgow, my family always had strong ties to Scotland. In 1990, contemplating the prospect of a new baby, my wife and myself made the decision so sell my city practice and move to Shetland.
The motive behind the decision was primarily to move to the most fabulous of environments to raise children away from the dangers and depravations of city life.
I found Shetland folk to be extraordinarily welcoming, warm and kind. With the help of a few Shetlanders who shared my views and interest in wildlife and conservation, I found a registered croft in Clousta – Flawton Croft. The tenant was happy to pass on the tenancy and after due discussion with the Crofters Commission the tenancy transfer was agreed.
After the births of my two daughters, sadly I found myself a single parent. I retired from dentistry and became a full time house dad. At this time my income was entirely limited to income support; with two preschool children that was an interesting experience. It opened my eyes very wide to the plight of the unemployed that depend on state aid. A lesson perhaps I needed to learn.
Once my babies were of school age I returned to part time practice with Alan Owen at Saint Olaf Street surgery where I worked until that practice closed last year. I now work as an independent dental surgeon with Dr David Lubbe in Dental Shetland. Exciting times ahead, with a new practice in the offing – a new NHS list specialising in children.