Doc heading to Europe

Sherry Martell
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TRURO - For the past 37 years patients of R.F. (Doc) Livingston have been regalled
with colourful stories of times gone by,
making a visit to the optometrist an entertaining experience.
But today, he is closing the book on a career he has loved for nearly four decades, aiming to begin a new chapter that will lead him on adventures around the world.
"I'm looking forward to my new career," he said. "I'm going to be teaching English away."
Last summer Livingston took university courses at the International Language Institute in Halifax to learn how to teach foreign students English.
Livingston said education has always been a part of his life.
Before studying optometry Livingston worked as an elementary school music teacher.
He was fascinated with the workings of the human eye and went on to study optometry. However, the thing he would like his patients to remember the most about their visits to the office is not his outgoing witty character or greeting them in sock-clad feet rather than shoes but his efforts to educate them on their eye-sight.
"I always tried to teach people about their eyes and their vision," said Livingston. "To have people understand about how their eyes work and their vision."
An accident he was in last fall made him realize how short life can be, so at age 63 he decided it was time to do things he had always wanted to do, such as teaching in a foreign country.
"It's something I've always wanted to do, teach away, all my kids have done it." He said all three of his daughters have taught abroad and he has visited them on location thoroughly enjoying the new cultural experiences.
When Livingston joined the Duke Street practice, he worked along side Dr. Ruth Stoddard, the first woman to practise optometry in Nova Scotia. Her father was the first optometrist to locate in Truro and his original patient chair from 1919 has remained in use in the office until today.
The chair will be handed along to the next optometrist
to operate the practice, Euan MacGinty with more than 15 years experience, expected to arrive in mid-January.
"We are very pleased that we have someone coming in to keep our patient's care continuing," said Livingston.
"I've had good secretaries and good patients and I really like my job and I'm just going to do the next one.
"I don't have any bad feelings, that's for sure. I always liked going to work."
Livingston's family, friends and patients are welcome to drop by the office at 51 Duke St. today from 2 to 5 p.m. to say farewell and wish him well as he sets out on a new journey.

Organizations: International Language Institute

Geographic location: Europe, TRURO, Halifax Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Nancy
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    Doc can't be beat and will certainly be missed by my family....and my eyes.

  • Julian
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    Congratulations, Doc!

    You'll be great wherever you go and any school will be lucky to have you.