He's spent decades helping women to have healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries, but Keith Hollebone's last day at work was with patients in a threatened-miscarriage clinic.
But far from considering it a downbeat finish to his career, the obstetrician-gynaecologist said this was often one of the most satisfying parts of it.
"You can sometimes do major good there, reassuring people that things are going alright," Dr Hollebone said.
And that's one of the aspects of the occupation he wonders if people truly understand: how much obstetricians care about their patients, even though "they're always very busy and rushing in and out".
"Certainly the ones in Tamworth really do care about the care they're giving," he said.
"Most of us do it because we love it, that's the point. There's nothing we like better than having a difficult delivery and holding a healthy baby, and handing this healthy baby to a healthy mother.
"It means job well done ... it's a wonderful, lovely feeling for us, and I shall miss it dreadfully."
Dr Hollebone saw out his career as a staff specialist at Tamworth hospital but worked as a private and public provider at various times in his 20-plus years in Tamworth.
A "ten-pound Pom", he'd come to Australia in 1971 after completing his medical training in a London teaching hospital.
He practised in Sydney first, but came to Tamworth with a young family for an affordable lifestyle "because Keating said we had to have a recession".
He loved it and decided to stay - but a smaller city did have its challenges.
"It means you have to be on your game all the time," he said.
"I can't go into a pub, because people will say, 'Doctor, aren't you on call? You can't be drinking.' That's a joke, but that sort of thing ... But it is lovely to be recognised and I like that."
It's time to go
Now, though, he feels it's time to call it a day.
"The last thing I want to do is have someone tap me on the shoulder and say, 'It's time you left, you've been here too long'."
One of his major aims had been to improve outcomes for Indigenous mothers and babies with cultural, socioeconomic and distance barriers to care.
He said many gains had been made, particularly through the work of the Aboriginal-specific health and maternity services, and midwife Jo Blake's "immense amount of work".
The Tamworth hospital redevelopment was "one of the best things that ever happened" - turning the maternity unit from "really pretty awful" to "the most spacious, beautiful unit".
His plans in retirement were to get his garden looking good - once it rains, "a lot more trout fishing" and continuing as the team doctor for Pirates Rugby Club.
His three children and seven grandchildren - who live in Sydney, Christchurch and Singapore - could also expect more visits.
Dr Hollebone said his most memorable patient had been a woman in Sydney having her ninth child.
All had been delivered by caesarean section and, due to complications with the placenta, this delivery was "really difficult".
"An operation that would normally take an hour took six hours in theatre overnight, but the patient and baby survived," he said.
"Every year they would go on holiday and she used to drop in and see me with her nine children, which was really an impressive thing to do.
"It was so touching .. something that stood out in my life as one of the most difficult things I had to do, and she was obviously very grateful for it."
Tamworth hospital operations manager Yvonne Patricks said she thanked Dr Hollebone for his "dedication and contribution".
"I would like to particularly recognise Dr Hollebone's commitment to the Aboriginal community in establishing the Coledale antenatal clinics and his work in Closing the Gap," she said.
"He has been instrumental in the education and training of hundreds of junior doctors throughout his career, and I know that they appreciate his knowledge and dedication.
"I wish Dr Hollebone all the best for his retirement."