A chance reading of a story on a fish and chip wrapper led to Andrew Costello making the 18,700km trip from Hull in the United Kingdom to take up a doctor’s position at Gore Hospital.
Dr Costello’s late father, Harry, was visiting Gore on holiday when he bought fish and chips and found the newspaper cutting on the wrapper saying how the former Gore Hospital could not attract a medical officer.
He passed the news clipping on to his son, who contacted the hospital and secured the job.
Dr Costello and wife Kate immigrated to New Zealand.
Now, 23 years later, he is retiring.
Dr Costello started at Gore Hospital in 1994 before joining Dr Roger Morgan’s Mataura general practice two years later.
“At the time they were going to close Gore Hospital down,” he said.
Dr Costello said he enjoyed his work and life in the South.
It was the people who made his work enjoyable, he said.
He would miss coming to work each day.
“I enjoyed the job and always have.”
The Mataura-based practice was busy – it had 3741 patients, he said.
He will take early retirement on December 22 to spend more time with his wife.
Ultimately, the practice hopes to attract another doctor.
In the meantime, it will continue with existing partner Elaine Munro and Tracy Peters will take on a new role of nurse practitioner.