Dr John Moore is feeling fortunate rather than sad to be stepping down as a second generation solo Whanganui medical practitioner.
The 70-year-old has sold his Wicksteed St practice to South African Annalia Coetzee who, come January, will have clocked up five years at the Gonville Health Centre.
Dr Moore's practice was set up at 176 Wicksteed St in 1946 by his father, John Robert Moore, after he had returned to New Zealand after a five-year stint overseas during World War II.
"My father ran the solo practice here until he retired in 1978 when I took over," Dr Moore said. "I had stood in as a locum leading up to that, but since 1978 I operated the surgery alone."
He said he had enjoyed his time in practice, that ran in tandem with his role as clinical director of Whanganui Hospital's sexual health clinic - a position he has also held since 1978.
"I'm very lucky that Annalia came along when she did," he said.
"Not many doctors - especially younger ones - are willing to commit to the business or administration side of a solo practice. She is an extremely proficient general practitioner with vast experience."
Dr Coetzee began her career in 1986 in Pretoria, working at a military hospital and in solo practice.
"In 2007 I moved to Ireland where I did locum and after-hours work," she said.
"For nearly five years I have built up a client base at the Gonville Health Centre, but I'm happy now to move into solo practice."
She will run her practice across the road at 197 Wicksteed St and, in fact, already has her sign out on display.
Dr Moore had a client base of just under 1000, quite a few less that many other general practitioners in Whanganui.
He will keep himself busy "pottering around" his two farm blocks in Upokongaro, north of the city, in his retirement.
He runs sheep, cattle, pigs, Muscovy ducks, a donkey and his passion, thoroughbred horses on his two blocks on SH4.
"In the short term I will continue my work at the sexual health clinic, defence force medicals and Work and Income," Dr Moore said.