Geoff Jackel, a much loved doctor and community man

Former Dubbo doctor, Geoff Jackel, died on Thursday, May 31, surrounded by family in Newcastle following a long illness. 

Dr Jackel and his wife, Virginia came with their family to Dubbo in 1982 from Newcastle where he had been in specialist Obstetrics and Gynaecology practice following completion of training at Royal Newcastle Hospital(RNH). He set up rooms with Chris Halloway, with whom Geoff had worked at RNH, in Myall St and was appointed as a Obstetrician and Gynaecologist to Dubbo Base Hospital(DBH).

In 1984, the practice expanded to include to include John Tooth, another RNH trained specialist and soon after the practice moved to Bultje St and the property renovated to meet the needs of an expanding specialist practice. Tony Geraghty joined in 1990. Chris Halloway moved to Bathurst in 1993 and the others continued in collaborative practice until Geoff left to become a staff specialist at DBH  in 2007.

Geoff gave tireless service to the women and families of the city and region for over a quarter of a century, often at the expense of time with his own family.  Despite long hours, he invariably remained patient and kind, prepared to listen to the concerns of those he was caring for, no matter the time of day or the disruption to his own schedule.

He contributed to the establishing of DBH maternity service as a specialist training site, with trainees rotating from Westmead hospital, Sydney from 1997.

Geoff was also an inspiration to his extended family with his siblings and their families looking to him for his support, advice and affection, which he willingly gave.

He was an enthusiastic teacher of students, midwives and trainees and prepared to offer opportunities in obstetric and gynaecological procedures to others without regard to the expense of his own time.

He had significant community involvement especially through Dubbo schools were all his children were educated and he served a term as Chair of P&C of the former Dubbo High. One of his sons Bryce, who sadly died last year, was school captain there in the mid-90s. 

Geoff was obviously a great source of inspiration to his children who only ever referred to him as Geoff. Three of them graduated in Medicine from Newcastle University and another has become a highly qualified nurse. This was despite the belief, expressed by him, that none of his children would follow in his footsteps "because they could see how hard I worked".

He was, throughout his time in practice, supported by Virginia who as well as working in the Bultje St. practice part time, filled in all the gaps created by Geoff's frequent absences. They created together a highly effective team bringing up there large family of five in a stimulating and loving environment.

He was an enthusiastic teacher of students, midwives and trainees and prepared to offer opportunities in obstetric and gynaecological procedures to others without regard to the expense of his own time.

Geoff was also an inspiration to his extended family with his siblings and their families looking to him for his support, advice and affection, which he willingly gave.

Geoff had many interests outside of work. This included gardening and he had a large backyard vegetable patch alongside the chook run at the family home in Dalton St. He had sound  knowledge of crop growing having been brought up in Rochester in rural Victoria.

He was a keen fisherman and escaped out to the western rivers with his family whenever he was given the opportunity. He was a more than able tennis player and kept up his skills on his own backyard court.

At Dubbo Golf club, he was a regular Wednesday competition player and, at the height of his powers, managed to get his handicap down to the mid teens. But he was first to admit that he could play "some shocking golf".

He will be remembered by those who knew him as someone of great modesty and humility:  despite his preeminence in the community, he was never given to grandiosity. To his friends and colleagues, he was guide, mentor, font of wisdom and blessed with a sense of humour as well as able to laugh at himself. He self deprecatingly would refer to himself as "one of the little fellas".

To those of us who knew and loved him, he will be sadly missed.