Dr. Aquilino Dizon Jr. was one of several residents, volunteers and businesses commemorated during the inaugural Business Gala Awards, held by the Melita and District Chamber of Commerce last April.
“He’s very appreciative. He just doesn’t want the community to think he’s going to retire,” says event organizer Camiel Serruys. “He actually said during his thank-you speech that, as long as he had his mind and his legs worked and he could remember your name, he would still be your doctor.”
Dr. Dizon began his Melita medical practice in 1973, after coming to Canada from the U.S. when his exchange visa expired. The 79-year old grandfather has reduced his workload in recent years but continues to see patients on a regular basis.
Last summer, a portion of the street near the community’s hospital was renamed Dr. Dizon Drive.
April 22 was also declared “Dr. Dizon Day” in the Town of Melita.
Dr. Dizon accepted the honours with his wife Emma, as two dozen health care providers crowded the stage; people he has worked with over his long career at the town’s hospital and medical clinic.
Economic development officer Iris Vercaigne concedes the community is actively seeking a new physician to maintain medical services. The two doctors and nurse practitioner in Melita are unable to provide round-the-clock care and the community’s emergency room is currently closed until May 11 because of staffing