Saturday, May 5, 2012

Dr Lenrie Peters Displays Dramatic Skills of Surgery at Westfield Clinic

Friday, May 04, 2012

Dr Lenrie Peters (1932-2009)
Dr Lenrie Peters was the 3rd child of the Peters family, who was preceded by two older sisters, Mrs. Bijou Bidwell and Dr Florence Mahoney. He was one of male twins born at the former Leman Street Maternity Clinic in Bathurst, now Banjul, he was born, in Banjul, on the 1st of September 1932. 

He attended the Methodist Boys High School where he attained his education as far as the 6th frrm.As there was no science in the school, he travelled to Freetown, Sierra Leone to pursue the science course at the Prince of Wales school. 

As an outstanding student, he was offered a place at the prestigious Trinity College, Cambridge. During his time at Trinity College he was discovered to be endowed with a good voice and he took part in an operatic musical.

Don Giovani by Mozart, was his first display of his gift, when is performance was acclaimed to be a great success. 
He was the first  black student with such an excellent baritone voice and  he was encouraged to sign in other operatic performances, and so Dr Peters enjoyed much publicity and gained experience in the singing of operatic works, he became very popular among his fellow students. 
On completion of his degree he embarked on pursuing a course in medecine and decided to specialize as a surgeon. He went to University College Hospital, London, where he worked and gained a great deal of experience in the surgical field.

Dr Peters returned home to The Gambia after he had qualified as an MD and as a specialist  in surgery. He joined The Gambia government medical services and was posted to Bansang as a medical officer,by this time he was married to a British nurse whom he had met in England during his medical training. 

Like most African students, after training in England for several years, one is full of enthusiasm and is happy to return home and to give service to their people. Dr Peters was one such person; he settled down in Bansang. 
He was devoted to the task and worked hard, with his wife  assisting him. It was an obvious challenge which he was determined to tackle and make a success of. As time went on he got used to the environment and the medical officers work in the provinces of The Gambia. 
At the end of his tour and contract with the Gambian governmenthe did not renew his contract, he felt that he had enough of life in Bansang and he had to consider the situation of his British wife also. He planned to go to England and to work there.

Dr Samuel Palmer, an older medical colleague had just opened the first private clinic in The Gambia-The Westfield Clinic, in 1969. Two years after, he decided to ask if Dr Peters would join him at Westfield to help him develop and improve the standards in his new premises. Dr Peters was subsequentlyappointed and worked with Dr Palmer  in 1972 two years after the clinic was opened.

Dr Peters was a hardworking dedicated committed clinician and surgeon. He was endowed with many talents, he was a talented writer, poet and singer. He was known as a philanthropist, helping students at school, the university and others.
 He also respnded to the president’s “back to the land,” call and purchased and developed several hectares of land at Farato  where he grew mangoes, which he  exported to England.

When resting after a hard days work he would indulge in good exotic food such as caviare, which he was fond of and ordered from abroad from time to time. 

Dr Peters, though a strict disciplinarian, was loved by his nursing staff. He was a brave surgeon and was ready to  tackle any major or difficult case which presented at the clinic. He attempted major surgical cases in the small theatre inspite of the limited facilities available and he was good at improvising with instruments, special splints for limbs etc.

The theatre staff that assisted Dr. Peters performing some major and dramatic surgery were impressed and awed as they watched him display his dexterity on the operating table A theatre nurse once told me that Dr. Peters was always so calm he never lost his head or temper by screaming at any one as he carried on with the operation. 

The Dental and Medical Association of The Gambia, last evening, 20th April,  celebrated their annual general meeting and one of the activities was a dinner at the Sunwing Beach Hotel. Among the awardees for doctors who had given satisfactory and dedicated service to the country was Dr. Lenrie Peters. He was applauded for his exemplary work at Westfield clinic.
Dr. Peters the renowned  surgeon, writer and poet endowed with so many talents, is a great loss to the country, we continue to mourn his demise, which occurred much sooner than was expected.
Source: The Daily News

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