I wish to pay a tribute to Dr Richard Geeves OAM, who passed away on Saturday 18 July 2020 at the age of 95. Dr Richard Geeves was a well-known local GP who worked tirelessly for many years serving my community after seeing service in World War II in Papua New Guinea. Early in his medical career, Dr Geeves realised there was a gap in care services provided to older people. He was made the honorary community physician at Hornsby Hospital and set up a multidisciplinary team that became the first of its kind, a geriatric rehabilitation service. In 1985 Dr Geeves set up a 26-bed rehabilitation ward and established a 60-bed transitional care and respite home on the hospital grounds, a testament to his advocacy and fundraising.
A pioneer in dementia care, Dr Geeves set up the first dementia-specific daycare centre in 1989. The Richard Geeves Centre continues to provide respite care today. Dr Geeves served the community in many capacities, including as charter president of the Pennant Hills Rotary Club from when the club was chartered in 1960, remaining a member until the 1980s. David Firth, the president of the club, alerted me to his passing. Dr Geeves was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1990 and a Centenary Medal in 2001 for his community services. Dr Geeves’s enormous contribution continued when he retired to Tasmania. A memorial service was recently held at the Thornleigh Scout Hall. I want to extend my condolences to Dr Geeves’s family, including his five sons. He will be remembered for his selflessness, his compassion and his contribution to dementia care.