AFTER a quarter of a century of service to the people of Lanark and the surrounding area, popular local GP Dr John Copeland is retiring this month.
Hamilton born, bred and educated, John said that it was late on in his time at Hamilton Academy that he decided on a medical career, eventually graduating from Glasgow University in 1977.
He dallied with having a specialist hospital-based career before deciding to take the General Practioner qualification, leading him into a pretty mobile working life, practising in places as diverse as Australia, Barbados and Troon!
It was while doing hospital work in Glasgow the almost classic medical romance blossomed and he married a nurse, Anne, an Edinburgh lass who lived for several years on the Falkland Islands where her dad was a GP.
The couple eventually came to Lanark in 1988, he to join the established practice here following the retirement of Dr John Smart, Anne to eventually be a practice nurse in Carluke.
He recalls his Lanark `interview’ with the late Doctor Telfer: “He looked at my file and commented that at least I’d gone to a good school; he was a Hamilton Academy man too. Then he added that it was a shame about my university; he’d qualified from Edinburgh University, Glasgow;’s deadly rival! Still, I got into the old surgery in South Vennel anyway!”