Adventist doctor John Knight has been awarded NSW Senior Australian of the Year.
Dr Knight, 89, said he was surprised to receive the award, which was presented to him by the Premier Mike Baird at a special function last night.
You don’t look for it, you don’t expect it and all of a sudden you are shaking hands with the Premier who is saying nice things to you.
“You don’t look for it, you don’t expect it and all of a sudden you are shaking hands with the Premier who is saying nice things to you,” Dr Knight said.
In 1973, he and his late wife Noreen established Medi-Aid Centre Foundation, a charity that provides accommodation for the elderly, particularly those who are frail, have no family support and no home.
Dr Knight has battled through heartbreak, personal and financial loss and cancer, but he has kept buying property for Medi-Aid and now has almost 1000 investments that are rented out for a small amount.
“My dad used to be the chaplain at the San [Sydney Adventist Hospital] at Wahroonga,” he said. “He used to say the person who gives really gets more out of it than the person who is receiving it.
“Some of [those I have helped] are the nicest people who have just had bad luck or something goes wrong.
“We enjoy it [helping them] and I have a good team.”
Dr Knight, also known as Dr James Wright, answered the nation’s medical queries in print, radio and as a regular guest on Midday with Ray Martin for 30 years. He was also a regular guest on Adventist Media’s Record InFocus program and has had a short daily health segment on Sydney radio station 2GB since 1980. He was awarded the Order of Australia in 1998.
A regular attendee at Fox Valley Adventist Church (NSW), he is described as a “very encouraging man” with a “generous and caring heart” by the church’s pastor Mark Baines.
“Charisma, humour and warmth exude from Doc Wright every time he greets me on Sabbath,” Pastor Baines said.
“He’s always asking about the welfare of my little boys and tells me to enjoy them while they’re young.”