MORRISBURG – There were many stories told, lots of shared memories, and a great deal of laughter as Dr. Wayne Domanko welcomed colleagues past and present, patients and friends, and dignitaries from the community to a gala “party” on Saturday, February 9, 2019.
Hundreds turned out at the Morrisburg Legion, to celebrate with Wayne, his wife Jane, their three sons and their families, The occasion was Wayne’s official retirement, after 50 years of service as a physician.
It was standing room only for most of the evening.
Sons Michael, Robert and Jonathan served as emcees for the celebration, sharing their warm memories of growing up with a “doctor in the house.” As Jon put it, “the crowd here tonight is a testament to how many people Dad has helped over the years.”
Mayor of South Dundas, Steven Byvelds, brought personal memories as well as the best wishes of the council and all the citizens of South Dundas to Dr. Domanko when he spoke at the gala.
Dr. Jennifer Ingram-Crooks, chief of family medicine at Winchester District Memorial Hospital, described Wayne as “wise, wonderful and dedicated’ but also a “lovely, nice nerd”, who just never quite got the hang of a great deal of technology.
She laughed that she was herself recruited to this area by doctors Paul Coolican and Wayne Domanko, way back when.
She described how she saw these two “white-haired guys” sitting at a very out-of-the-way little table, “with a basket of apples in front of them” during a huge medical hiring fair. She admitted, to much laughter, that the two of them essentially reminded her of ‘Stadler and Waldorf’, the famous Muppet characters. But after talking to them, she signed up to come to South Dundas.
Dr. Ingram-Crooks went on to praise Wayne as an ardent, tireless advocate for his community, his profession and for medical education. “He has always set the bar high,” she said.
Cholly Boland, the chief executive officer of WDMH, nearly brought the house down in his remarks. “Wayne was our chief of anesthesia for 30 years,” he pointed out, then added: “This man has passed a lot of gas.” He shared stories of Wayne’s reputation as a medical fashionista, saying that the time had finally come for the truth. “Who really picks out your clothes, you or Jane?”
But he also praised Wayne’s deep and committed care for his patients, his decency and his always calm approach with doctors, staff and patients. “He was a terrific fundraiser for the Hospital, a mentor to many, and one who always led by example.” Boland said.
When, later in the evening, he addressed the crowd, Dr. Wayne Domanko expressed his deep appreciation to his sons and their spouses for planning this “wonderful event.” He spoke of the support of his wife Jane. “I could never have done this job for 50 years without her.”
As he told the large crowd, over these past 50 years, “many of you have trusted me with your lives. We have shared much happiness together, but also the times of grief.”
“Our journey here was great,” Wayne said, “but we could never have picked a better spot. We are very proud to be part of the South Dundas community. It has been a wonderful run.”