King,_John_old_photo__2_22-09-2013Dr. John King, who practised medicine in Almonte for 46 years, passed away September 22, 2013.

Born in Moncton, NB, Dr. King came to Almonte in 1959 in response to a request for locum coverage from Dr. Rolf Bach.

An intended one-year locum grew to more than four decades in the community.

When Dr. King arrived in Almonte, plans were underway to replace the overcrowded Rosamond Memorial Hospital with a new facility.

The Almonte General Hospital opened in May 1961, and Dr. King spoke at the official opening on behalf of the medical staff.

While the Rosamond Memorial and Almonte General hospitals had a number of doctors on active medical staff and as visiting consultants during the 1950s and 60s, the only two physicians with Almonte-based practices throughout most of this period were Dr. King and Dr. Bach.

In 1967, Drs. Bach and King admitted more than 70 per cent of the Almonte General Hospital’s patients.

“Essentially, for a dozen years or so, it was just three physicians serving the community: Dr. King, Dr. Bach and other physicians here for a few years at a time,” recalls Dr. Frank Murphy, who started his family practice in Almonte in 1972.

“Dr. King had a large family practice and his patients were devoted to him.”

In 1975, Dr. King chaired a committee to examine the feasibility of adding a complex continuing care wing to the Almonte General Hospital.

The 26-bed Rosamond Wing officially opened in 1982.

He witnessed many other significant events relating to health care in the community, including the plans to redevelop the Hospital and Fairview Manor.

Dr. King retired from practice shortly after the sod turning on the Hospital-Manor Redevelopment Project.

At his retirement party, held at the Almonte Civitan Hall on October 23, 2005, the room was packed with well-wishers to honour and thank him for his years of dedication to the community.     He graduated from the University of New Brunswick in 1950 with his B.Sc. in Biology and from McGill in 1954 with his medical degree.

He interned in general surgery for five years in Montreal and in Saint John, New Brunswick.

An accomplished athlete in many sports, Dr. King excelled in track and rugby and was induced into the Fredericton Sports Wall of Fame in 1999 along with his relay team that won the Canadian Championship in 1947.

“Dr. King played an important role at AGH and in our community for many years,” said Hospital President and CEO Mary Wilson Trider.

“On behalf of our physicians, staff and volunteers, I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the King family.”

Dr. King’s funeral was held September 25, 2013.