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Ecology activity day celebrates Doctors life
Published 01/09/14

A FAMILY activity day was held to mark a GP’s contribution to two ecological groups.

Dr Anne Millar, who died in October, aged 86, was a doctor in Benson for three decades.

The event was organised by the the Benson Ecological Study Team, which she helped found, and Ewelme Watercress Beds and was held at the nature reserve.

Activities included a treasure trail, photo competition, boat-making, decorating baseball caps, a boat race and a plant quiz.

Moths caught in an overnight trap were identified by visitors before being released.

Tom Stevenson, chairman of the study team, said Dr Millar was a leading light in the community.

He said: “It was her house that was the old surgery in Mill Lane. She built an annexe on to the side to house the surgery.”

The activity day was aimed at families with children aged six to 12.

Mr Stevenson said: “After a frantic morning with the children trying not to miss out on any activity, a barbecue was supplied. Luckily, the weather was on our side and lunch was enjoyed in the beautiful surroundings of the watercress beds. This was followed by prize-giving.

“A great time was had by all including the helpers and we cannot say more than Dr Anne’s son, who wrote ‘….the sort of thing of which Mum would thoroughly approve’.”

Dr Millar gave 60 years’ service to the village after moving to Benson in 1953 with her husband Andrew.

At the time she had a young family but started working in the practice in Mill Lane as an assistant in the mid-Sixties. For the next 20 years all medical services in Benson were run from the family home.

In 1970 the Dorchester Partnership split up and the main practice moved to Berinsfield. The couple became partners in the new practice in Benson. After her husband died in 1982, Dr Millar continued to practise for another eight years, during which time she helped to plan and build the new Mill Stream Surgery in the heart of the village.

She was long-standing member of Benson Women’s Institute and president for several years. She also served as president of the Mill Stream Day Centre in the village.

She helped set up the Benson area play scheme, which provides activities for school-age children for two weeks in the summer holidays.

Dr Millar also served on Benson Parish Council, including a spell as chairwoman, after her retirement from medicine and helped with the planning of the new parish hall.

The council named a village street Millar Close after her.

Published 01/09/14

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