Remembering Dr. Bate Toms
As I watched the lifting of the bells I thought about Dr. Bate Toms. Back in 1966 at Martinsville General Hospital Dr. Bate Toms and Dr. Paul Toms were active surgeons. We called them Dr. Bate and Dr. Paul. They didn't mind that. We also had Dr. George Wallace and Dr. Pat Wallace whom we called Dr. George and Dr. Pat. The Toms brothers were from Salisbury, NC and married 2 Martinsville girls - lucky for those of us who needed a good surgeon now and then. Dr. Bate served in the Navy before his course in medical school and earned the rank of Liutenant Commander. He told many stories about his service and since it involved the Navy and the African continent I found it really interesting. Dr. Bate also had an interesting hobby later in life and that was growing orchids. The bells in this picture, being lifted back to their resting places in the bell tower at Christ Episcopal Church, are ones that Dr. Bate gave to honor his family. The inscriptions on the three bells, from largest to smallest, read: "To The Glory Of God And In Thanksgiving For Margaret Shackelford Toms", 'In Memory of Paul Bernhardt Toms 1982', and 'In Memory of Our Children: Bate Carpenter Toms, John Shackelford Toms, Harrison Spencer Toms". And not a single "Given by Bate C. Toms" to be found. That doesn't surprise me at all. View a picture of Dr. Toms in our archive HERE. View more photos of the bells HERE.