Sunmolu Beckley, a 75-year-old Nigerian doctor who left the country in his early days to study in Ireland, UK, went on to become a surgeon of repute sought after in the United States and Canada.
Beckley graduated from Kings College Lagos before moving on to The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, where he trained as one of the finest surgeons in the world.
He was in the United States up until 1988, ignoring the many options available to him at the time, to choose to work with the Grand Bank Health Centre, Burin Peninsula, Canada.
He worked diligently with the Centre for almost three decades, before deciding to retire from active service at 75 after giving his young years to the service of humanity in the country.
According to Southern Gazzette, a Canadian news outfit, Beckly was hosted to a blissful celebration that saw the naming of a local hospital and a community after him.
During her remarks at the celebration Carol Haley, Burin-Grand Bank member of house of assembly, said the Grand Bank Health Centre has been renamed as the Dr. S. Beckley Health Centre.
Haley said Beckley’s name had become synonymous with healthcare in Grand Bank and the surrounding area.
“Pass by his clinic in the evening, long after everyone is gone home from work, and you will find Dr. Beckley’s vehicle in the parking lot,” she said.
Endorsing the decision, John Haggie, health and community services minister, said: “It is fitting that the facility will now bear his namesake, as he was one of the original advocates for its construction.
“Beckley was a strong advocate for the construction of the hospital that now carries his name, built in 2009 to replace the former Grand Bank Community Health Centre.”
Rex Matthews, Grand Bank Mayor, also announced that an area of town recently dedicated to the construction of affordable housing had been called ‘Beckley Place’ in his honour.
“Dr. Beckley has touched so many lives,” Grand Bank Mayor said. “He’s done so much for people.”
A number of other guests also paid tribute to Beckley during the celebration, including daughter Temi Beckley and son Akin Beckley, now a doctor living in New York City.
“My father, when he chose this community, he just had a sense – I think it was God’s calling – that this is where he really wanted to help out the community and just selflessly serve you all,” Temi Beckley was quoted to have said.
Taking the podium to speak towards the end of the event, Beckley said he thought he was only going to be in Grand Bank for a couple of years.
Sunmolu Beckley is a revered member of the African Cancer Centre.