For 40 years, David Da Silva provided relief to Comox Valley residents suffering from back pain, sports injuries, arthritis and other joint injuries.
In February, the 72-year-old physiotherapist, who had worked out of the Courtenay Health Sciences Centre, called it a day.
“My wife and my children read me the riot act,” Da Silva said. “It was time to retire. At 72, l thought they might be right. So l have.
“As l leave, l want to give a shout out to all of you, who over the past 40 years came to me for treatment. In all honesty, you made my job so enjoyable, even when l couldn’t help them.”
Born in Guyana, Da Silva had been a teacher in his home country and in England before graduating from the Coventry School of Physiotherapy in 1978. The following year, he and his wife Bernadette emigrated to Canada, along with their four children — two of whom went into medicine.
For about three years, Da Silva was the regional physiotherapist for Northern Vancouver Island, serving the communities of Port Hardy, Port Alice, Port McNeill, Alert Bay and Sointula.
“It was quite an eye opener,” said Da Silva, who played basketball in Alert Bay. “It was a booming time then. We really enjoyed our time up there. I learned so much up there…Canada has been so good to us.”
After relocating his family to Black Creek, Da Silva worked for a year at the Campbell River Physiotherapy Clinic. He then worked for two-plus years at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox. In 1985, he opened a private clinic, which he moving in 1993 to the Courtenay Health Sciences Centre on England Avenue.
He has passed the baton to new owner Dewald Diedericks, and to Sue Bloxsome, who will also be working at the renamed Comox Valley Physiotherapy at 1350 England Ave.
“You will not be disappointed,” Da Silva said.
The coronavirus pandemic struck shortly after Diedericks took over the clinic March 1, so he decided to renovate the premises during the closure. Before re-opening, he underwent emergency abdominal surgery.
“David was instantly ready to help me re-open the clinic while I was off,” Diedericks said. “He has been extremely good to me, and I know to many of his patients during his 40 years in the Valley.”