#Article (Archive)

Tribute to Dr. Lenrie Peters from the Staff of Westfield Clinic

Jun 9, 2009, 6:46 AM

I stand here today on behalf of the staff of Westfield Clinic, and with a sad heart to pay tribute to Dr. Lenrie Peters, our much loved Medical Director, a distinguished surgeon and a literary giant. Dr. Lenrie Peters joined the staff of Westfield clinic in 1972. At that time he and Dr. S. J. Palmer were the only doctors at the Clinic. Today, there are ten (10) doctors using the Westfield clinic facilities.

His specialty was general surgery but he also did general medical work. He became Director in 1995 and was Director up until his death in May 2009.

Dr. Peters was a colossus. He towered over us at Westfield and we proudly and joyfully wallowed and luxuriated under his brand name. His relationship with the staff was extremely cordial. He had a great sense of humor. He treated all, from the low to the high, with compassion and respect. He was very hard working, punctual and devoted to the service of Westfield Clinic. He arrived at work before all of us and left late. His attitude to work inspired us all positively, and the theatre staff were always very punctual, for Dr. Peters was always in the theatre very early - even at 7am.

He was a voracious reader who read even in between consultations. Dr. Peters was someone others depended on, as is accounted for by his numerous anonymous philanthropic gestures to the staff, students, and to the community at large.

He had a very good relationship with his colleagues even the most junior.

Under Dr. Peter's Directorship Westfield clinic continued to grow in all areas of service delivery, consistent with its status as the pioneer of Private Practice in the Gambia. New buildings were constructed while old ones were refurbished. Highly qualified staff were recruited and motivated to meet the challenges of present day health care delivery. More Doctors in various areas of specialization continue to use the facilities of the clinic.

Dr. Peter's relationship with his staff, the love and bond between him and us was best demonstrated during the illness that led to his death. The entire Staff stood by him and stayed by him till the very end. From the time he was in bed at his home, to the time he was moved to Westfield, our staff watched and cared for him.

Even when he was moved to the ICU at RVTH there was always a member of staff with him, and a nurse from Westfield clinic accompanied him to Dakar. He was never alone.

In the year 2000, during a conversation with Dr. Peters he assured me that, if ever I decided to venture into private Medical Practice a place was available for me at Westfield Clinic. After a brief reflection I freed myself from public service and accepted the offer and joined Westfield Clinic.

On the 25th of May 2009, in the absence of Dr. Lenri Peters due to illness, I became the Acting Medical Director of Westfield clinic.

I am deeply honored by the challenges before me and humbled by the goodness of these Gentlemen (Dr. S. J. Palmer and Dr. Lenrie Peters) in whose steps I now walk.

Dr. Peters will be greatly missed at Westfield for his leadership qualities, his high sense of humor, his generosity, and his great devotion to duty. The Westfield Family has lost a father.

Farewell our chief.

Dr. S. A. Dumbuya MD, FWACS

Acting Medical Director