Dr. George Stewart Hunter was surprised to see approximately 100 people on July 5, who had gathered at the Vermilion Senior’s Centre to surprise and congratulate him on his 95th Birthday.
Hunter arrived in style in a bright yellow Mustang, compliments of Webb’s Ford. He was then ushered in by Bill McIldoon who played the bagpipes for the special occasion. “Cars and bagpipes are two great loves of Dr. Stewart Hunter’s,” said emcee Lee DeVries.
She continued, by telling a story from his youth in which he learned about hard work and determination. Apparently, he wanted to learn about elbow grease, so he had been sent to town to look for some. Inquiring at local shops, each owner would send him on to the next shop until one had him brush and groom his horse until his arms ached, and he got the concept.
His tenacity didn’t stop there. Dr. Stewart Hunter attended medical school at the University of Liverpool in England, and later received fellowships in each of his department specialties. He also taught many post graduates and Vermilion Health Centre staff members, as well as provided several book reviews and lectures.
Dr. Stewart Hunter joined the military’s Royal Air Force and travelled to Nigeria, East Africa, and Canada. He worked in Barrhead and Fairview, before moving to Vermilion in 1979. His practice has included 40 per cent general practice and 60 per cent obstetrics and gynecology. In 1995, he took a laparoscopic course, and post retirement has been able to make a lot of house calls, and worked in palliative care.
Dr. Stewart Hunter enjoyed being a family man and some of his children were at the party, while others sent a video full of birthday wishes.
“Dr. Stewart Hunter was a many of many interests. He was the captain of the University of Liverpool’s fencing team, the owner of a Canadian Yacht Certificate, a ski patrol instructor, a rally driver and racetrack driver, a motorbike owner, and an airplane pilot. He was also an artist in charcoal, oil, acrylic, and watercolours receiving his degree in 2002. He was also a man of faith, an actor, and a literary genius, a proud Scotsman, a big game hunter, and a golfer at times.” said DeVries.
Dr. Stewart Hunter became a patient in 2002 after suffering a heart attack, and Jan Scott who had worked with him for over 30 years read a poem that he had written at that time titled, ‘Coronary’.
“Have you lived with love in your heart,” read a line in the poem.
‘A Love Story Between A Surgeon And A Town,’ was another poem read during the party that was written specially for Dr. Stewart Hunter. Presentations were made by Councillor Robert Pulyk on behalf of Mayor Caroline McAuley, and Judy Woywitka on behalf of MLA Dr. Richard Starke.
“Dr. Stewart Hunter is a beloved resident. He has delivered countless children, and provided comfort to many seniors. Words cannot express his commitment to our community,” said Pulyk.
“My heartfelt congratulations! Birthdays are a great time to reflect with family, friends, and loved ones. Your contribution to so many residents can only be described as extraordinary,” said Dr. Starke’s letter.
After being showered with gifts, Dr. Stewart Hunter gave a response, and people went on to enjoy visiting over cake and refreshments.
“This is so overwhelming. I don’t know how to say thank you, but I’m not going to refuse it!” said Dr. Stewart Hunter before receiving a standing ovation.