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Rochester dentist hangs up his drill

Rochester dentist Daniel Lavery has retired after 34 years.

RHIANNON HORRELL July 9, 2014 3:22am

Daniel Lavery.


Dentist Dr Daniel Lavery has hung up his drill after an impressive career in Rochester spanning 34 years, retiring from general practice on July 1.

The father-of-four believes he was the longest-serving dentist Rochester has ever had.

‘‘I came here as a young man and now I’m a pensioner.’’

Dr Lavery emigrated from Glasgow when he was 24.

‘‘I worked in Melbourne for a couple of years and then we decided to come up to the country. I never regretted it.’’

He said there was a shortage of dentists in the country at that time, but did not envisage staying in Rochester for so long.

‘‘It’s a good friendly place — it has been a good place to live.

‘‘The community has been very good to us and it really showed when we had the floods in 2011.

‘‘Everybody helped, everyone was really good.

‘‘We had two feet of water through the surgery so there was a lot of cleaning up to do. It wasn’t pleasant.

‘‘It took us five weeks to get back to work. There was mess everywhere,’’ he said.

Dr Lavery has plenty of fond memories and said many patients were also friends.

‘‘I remember one child who didn’t want (dental) treatment, so she ran outside and climbed up the tree.

‘‘Needless to say it was hard to get her down. She was eight or nine years old.

‘‘There’s lots of other stories but that is one that comes to mind.

‘‘There were other patients who thought I spoke Chinese because of my accent.’’

Dr Lavery travelled back to Scotland often to see relatives.

‘‘I’ve just actually got back.’’

He said there was a big demand for dental services in Rochester, but had since sold the business to Dr Anup Shenai.

‘‘He worked for me for three years and I’ve worked for him for three years. I’m leaving the business in capable hands.’’

‘‘I’ll be doing some travelling, I’ll be playing some golf and I still teach at La Trobe University dental school, so I’ve taught there part time for about five years.’’

Dr Lavery had received lots of cards and gifts from members of the community following news of his retirement.

‘‘Lots of people I’ve known for 30 years, my children have gone to school with their children and things like that.’’

He will continue living in Rochester.

‘‘I’m having a little thank you gathering for my staff and patients.

‘‘I’d like to thank all of the past and present patients and loyal staff for their help over the years,’’ Dr Lavery said.

Drinks and nibbles will be held at Rochester Wine Tavern on Friday from 7pm.

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