Former Cumberland Infirmary eye department head remembered

THE DAUGHTER of the former head of Cumberland Infirmary’s eye department has shared memories of her father following her sad loss.

Baldev Sethi worked as an ophthalmologist in the county since 1965, conducting clinics throughout the north and west of Cumbria.

Discussing her father, Roopa Gulati shared: “He came to Britain in 1955 from Calcutta as a young man with just a few pounds in his pocket. He was born in northern India and was very bright and studied hard. He witnessed the Partition which divided India and Pakistan in 1947 and experienced a lot in the country which he took strength from when he decided to move to England to better his life.

“He studied to become a doctor and he later became a surgeon. It was very difficult to get a senior position and he worked in various cities across England. By chance there was an opening at Cumberland Infirmary and his colleague said: “If you get this job, there is no better place to raise a family.” My mum had studied Wordsworth, so she knew all about Cumbria and was thrilled when he got the job.

“They moved from Sheffield in 1965 and they stayed at Goschen Road in Carlisle before moving to Dalston and that was his home until 2015. He absolutely loved the county.

“Having passed at 94, I feared that his colleagues and peers had passed away but their children remember dad. I remember walking in town and we couldn’t walk more than 10 steps without someone mentioning that he cared for them.

“He loved gardening and was obsessed with old Indian films and music. He also loved a sharp suit, wearing an outfit even when he went out to grab some petrol.

“My parents would cook Indian food for the neighbors and my mum would learn to bake and we would discover Cumberland sausages. He was a great ambassador for Cumbria, whenever we would have visitors from India or the south he would conduct a tour round the Lakes. ”

Mr Sethi was the father of Roopa, Ravi and Bela and was also a grandfather and great-grandfather.

A memorial service will take place at a church in Dalston in July.

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