The Stabroek News July 24, 2016 article, titled `Dr. Mitchell hangs up his stethoscope after more than 50 years of service’, by Marcelle Thomas is a fitting reference to the life of one of the most dedicated sons of Guyana.
His passing leaves a void in the medical fraternity, healthcare services, and the communities in which he was raised and served.
The article speaks for itself. Editor, please be kind enough to allow me to make two other points about Dr. Mitchell.
His attended the then St Alban’s primary school (now Belladrum primary) from where he gained a government county scholarship to attend Queen’s College. He was the first pupil to do so from our community. This achievement is proudly etched on the honours board displayed in the school: Gladstone Mitchell; 1949; 76%; winner.
The second point illustrates dedication to service beyond compare. In the late 1960s Dr. Mitchell was the resident doctor for the North West District, a catchment area that included Mabaruma, Port Kaituma, Matthews Ridge and Baramita. Dr. Mitchell had just returned to base at Matthews Ridge at about 8:00 one evening, having spent all day providing health care services along the Kaituma River and other riverain areas, when he received a radio message of someone seriously sick in the Kaituma River area. Exhausted as he was, Dr. Mitchell spared no time in advising the relatives of the sick that he would travel immediately from Matthews Ridge to Port Kaituma to attend to the sick, provided they were able to convey the person to Port Kaituma. That was a round trip of nearly 70 miles by an improvised rail car. He did not return to base at Matthews Ridge until 1:00 am the next day.
Those of us familiar with Dr. Mitchell salute him for a job well done. To his grieving relatives please be comforted that he is now at eternal peace and rest.