Canada Names Hospital, Community After Selfless Nigerian, Sunmolu Beckley

As a specialist, Dr. Sunmolu Beckley had many options available to him when he decided to move to Grand Bank from the United States in 1988.

A new street in Grand Bank – Beckley Place – has also been named for Dr. Sunmolu Beckley. Council members unveiled the sign during a special celebration. Photo: Paul Herridge

Southern Gazette Canada report continues:

Nearly 30 years later, however, at the age of 75, he continues to serve the people of the region.

For his dedication, a celebration that saw the local hospital and a street named after him was held at the Grand Bank Lions Centre Friday evening.

During remarks from Burin-Grand Bank MHA Carol Anne Haley, she revealed the Grand Bank Health Centre has been renamed as the Dr. S. Beckley Health Centre.

Later in the evening, Grand Bank Mayor Rex Matthews announced an area of town recently dedicated to the construction of affordable housing has been called Beckley Place in his honour.

Haley said Beckley’s name has become synonymous with healthcare in Grand Bank and the surrounding area.

“Pass by his clinic in the evening, long after everyone is gone home from work, and you will find Dr. Beckley’s vehicle in the parking lot,” she said.

Beckley was a strong advocate for the construction of the hospital that now carries his name, built in 2009 to replace the former Grand Bank Community Health Centre, a news release from the Department of Health and Community Services stated Monday.

The facility provides primary care clinics, beds for short stays, laboratory and x-ray services, as well as public health, home and community care nursing. Visiting clinicians also provide a variety of other health services.

“Dr. Beckley has touched so many lives. He’s done so much for people,” Grand Bank Mayor Rex Matthews said during Friday’s event.

A number of other guests also paid tribute to Beckley during the celebration, including daughter Temi Beckley and son Akin Beckley, now a doctor living in New York City. Both grew up in Grand Bank before leaving after high school.

“My father, when he chose this community, he just had a sense – I think it was God’s calling – that this is where he really wanted to help out the community and just selflessly serve you all,” Temi Beckley said.

To be clear, Beckley isn’t retiring, Jack Burfitt, chairman of the committee established to plan the event, said, to a round of applause.

Burfitt said the main reason for holding the celebration now was to do so while the doctor is in good health and to show how much people appreciate him.

Taking the podium to speak towards the end of the event, Beckley said he thought he was only going to be in Grand Bank for a couple of years.

He was well received in the community, however, and before long his children had settled in.

“All my work is due to the fact that you gave me a good reception in the first place,” he said.

“I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you’ve done for me and my family.”


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