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Doctor Extraordinaire

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Doctor Extraordinaire

The thump of his every heartbeat seems to echo with the sound of goodwill, charity and caring. How else at 80 years of age could he have built so many friendships, kept them all in good repair and still connect with all ages? {{more}}
Gideon John Cordice was born in Georgetown on September 14, 1924, the last of six children, of robust pastoral stock of East Indian descent. Family life extended well beyond the boundaries of the homestead sprouting and reaching into the community. In that nurturing environment Gideon’s heart, soul and mind offered shelter to whomsoever will. Naturally, he needed no persuasion to be convinced that his vigorous health and marvellous intellectual capacity were to be given to the service of others. The record of his achievements is a story of a brilliant and adventurous man.

Early years

After sitting at the feet of the legendary Christopher Wilberforce Prescod at the Georgetown Government School (primary level), Gideon won a scholarship to the St. Vincent Boys’ Grammar School in 1936. While there, he distinguished himself as an outstanding student, astute cricket captain of the school’s first eleven and aided by lightening quick reflexes became table tennis champion of the school and also St. Vincent. After becoming head boy he went on to crown his school career by winning the 1944 Island Scholarship. In those days only one Island Scholarship was offered every three years.

The good doctor

On account of the limitations of time and space I am constrained to list, point by point, his superlative contribution to his chosen field of medicine.
1945 – 1950 – Studied medicine at Aberdeen University – Scotland
1951 – 1952 – Studied Tropical Medicine at London University
1952 – 1953 – Worked as a Physician and with Dr. Gun-Munro at the entire Hospital from the Casualty to the operating room
1953 – 1957 – Worked in every Medical District in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
1957 – 1959 – Worked with Dr. Velarde of Mexico on the Yaws eradication and V.D. control programme in Haiti, St. Vincent, Grenada, St. Lucia and Dominica in collaboration with WHO and PAHO
1960 – 1961 – Completed Masters Degree in Public Health [MPH] at Yale University
1961 – 1963 – Worked in the Health Department in California
1963 – 1964 – Studied Epidemiology in Moscow
1965 – Studies Gerontology in Kazakhstan where persons live to the age of 178 years
1966 – 1978 – Worked as M.O.H and S.M.O.
1978 Seconded to Kingstown Medical College as Lecturer and Assistant Dean
1978 to Present – Still sees patients privately at home at Cane Garden

Other activities

“Doc” Cordice so loved cricket that for 25 consecutive years he was President of the St. Vincent Cricket Association. So valued was his involvement that he was made a life member of the Windward Island Cricket Board of Control. He also sat as a member of the West Indies Cricket Board of Control.

Membership of Rotary Club,
St. Vincent

Service being at the very core of the Rotary Club’s mission Doc became one of its fervent missionaries. Not surprisingly therefore he became a Paul Harris Fellow and is widely saluted for his outstanding work as a Rotarian.

Doc’s role

Having prescribed that after education his time and skill were to be given to the service of others, Doc planted himself among ordinary people. In action, he delivered with humility and quiet efficiency shunning self-promotion and self-display. It was a consummate rendering unrestrained and solidly pure. When the doubters scoffed Doc persevered buoyed up by spirit and conviction.
Doc’s way is his way not to be condemned but to be respected. For him, money although useful for its use in action is not to be pursued as an end in itself. At 80 years of age (attained on Tuesday, September 14, 2004) there lies within a calm contentment, which brooks no harassment. It is not often that one can muse with a sense of self fulfillment and say (to use para phrased words) – I give and do not count the cost, fight and not heed the wounds, toil and not seek rest, labour and not look for any reward, save peace of mind by knowing God.
Happy belated birthday Doc! Thanks for being who and what you are! Thanks for your service with distinguished honour! May you have several more healthy and happy birthdays – “Thou good and faithful servant”.