Clarence left us suddenly on 7 October. He left a huge void in the hearts of his family, his patients, and his colleagues.
Clarence came to Canada in 1972 from Uganda, which was politically unstable at the time. He made the move unwillingly, as a lifesaving step, and entered UBC to continue his medical education. Like many of us, he checked out various specialties and loved every branch of medicine, so he chose family practice in order to embrace all aspects of medical practice.
Clarence came to Maple Ridge for part of his residency requirement and, finding that he loved the work and the congeniality of his colleagues Dr Brian Dixon Warren and Dr Bruce Pitt Payne, he decided to stay. That was in 1976. For the following 37 years, with the indispensable assistance of Vienna by his side, he built up a family practice with special interest in fertility.
Clarence was one of the most dedicated doctors I have ever met. He started his work day at 9 a.m. or earlier 6 days per week, working until 8 or 9 p.m. He would attend to his patients in Ridge Meadows Hospital, or at their homes or nursing homes whenever the need would arise. At the end of an office visit Clarence would ask his patient, “Is there anything else you would like to go over with me?” During one of his family vacations, he carried a briefcase full of his patients’ charts, so he would not be idle on the plane!
A devoted teacher to medical students, medical residents, and nurse practitioners, he had at least one of them in his practice for the majority of the year.
Clarence was a soft-spoken gentleman with much wisdom. While we, his colleagues, had heated debates in the doctors’ lounge, Clarence never raised his voice. He simply made his point and left quietly.
Clarence left some big shoes to be filled in our medical community. He will be sadly missed by his wife, Vienna; his sons, Aaron, Aalton, and Aiden; his staff; his colleagues; and all his patients in Ridge Meadows and beyond.
—Daniel K.C. Wong, MD
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