Birchip doctor awarded OAM

BEING awarded an Order of Australia Medal is the biggest thank you Dr John Horton could receive from the Birchip community. 

The 78-year-old retired general practitioner has provided medical support to the people of Birchip for over 30 years and said he would do it again in a heartbeat. 

“The main thing (about recieving the award) is that I worked hard and the people have appreciated it,” he said. 

“It is the biggest thank you they could have given me.”

Dr Horton moved to Birchip in 1973 and became an influential part of the Birchip Bush Nursing Hospital, while also offering his services to the Wirrim Lodge Aged Care Facility. 

A man of many talents, Dr Horton’s role involved administering anaesthetics, conducting emergency procedures and delivering babies.

“I really love delivering babies and seeing their brand new little eyes come into the world for the first time,” he said.

As well as contributing to the community medically, Dr Horton was the leader of the Birchip scouts for 14 years and is also an elder at the Birchip Uniting Church.

“I am very interested in bushwalking and hiking and these are all part of the activities we did in scouts,” he said.

Since retiring in 2003 Dr Horton has spent time bushwalking and tinkering with the mechanics of old cars.

“I love spending time with my wife Beverly, who is also a doctor,” he said.

Dr Horton has five children and 12 grandchildren, which he said kept him more than occupied.

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