- "When people have no love to live for, it's so very easy to fill that void with hate."
- - Dr. Myra Fitzsimmons about Mr. Starke
Mr. Starke was a local landowner in South Africa who appeared in the 2016 Christmas episode. He was played by Danny Keogh.
For many years Mr. Starke has harboured a bitter grudge against Dr. Myra Fitzsimmons, whom he blames for the deaths of his wife, Celeste, and their baby, and he refuses to allow a pipeline across his land to Hope Clinic which has a very unhygienic water supply which is running dangerously low. Tom Hereward tries to convince Mr. Starke to give permission for the pipeline, but is coldly rebuffed. Things soon become extremely desperate when Dr. Myra falls ill and is later hospitalized.
One night Dr. Myra tells Sister Julienne the reason for Mr. Starke's grudge against the clinic: Starke's wife, Celeste, went into labour early with their first-born and there was no time for a transfer to a private nursing home, so Dr. Myra was summoned, and she delivered Celeste of a four-pound boy who only lived for six days. Celeste was too ill to realise what she'd lost and she only lived for another day. Ever since then, Mr. Starke has blamed Dr. Myra and her black patients for the deaths of his wife and baby.
When Dr. Myra is taken to hospital, Sister Julienne is horrified to learn the alternate pipeline which goes round Starke's land won't be ready for at least two months, and there is barely enough water for two days, so she takes it upon herself to try to convince Mr. Starke to give permission for a pipeline across his land. Sister Julienne finds that Starke also seems to blame the recently deceased Mother Felicity, whom he later reveals bathed his son when he was born, and he never took any photos of Celeste during her last days because her face was swollen and discoloured, and he never took any photos of their child. Sister Julienne convinces Starke he can prevent any other mothers and babies from dying the same his wife and child did by giving permission for a pipeline that would give a clean water supply to the clinic, saying it would be a better memorial to his wife than any photograph, then she leaves.
Mr. Starke later comes by the clinic to talk to Sister Julienne who he finds tending to a newborn baby who was delivered by Caesarean, and she tells him they have insufficient water to give the baby a bath. He apologises for his earlier behaviour and says he wants to make amends. Starke gives permission for the pipeline across his land to give Hope Clinic a clean water supply, and the clinic flourishes.