Fond farewell for pharmacist

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Graham Lewis holds the book with messages from the customers of the pharmacy he worked for more than 40 years. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO

RETURNING to the pharmacy where he worked for several decades is an emotional experience for Graham Lewis.

He retired at the end of last month after working for more than 45 years as a pharmacist in Invercargill.

“It’s quite strange the feeling to be retired and coming back here is very emotional.”

The current owners of Baillie and Lewis Pharmacy in Martin St paid a homage to Mr Lewis by putting together a farewell book in which customer could write messages.

It was such a success, with several hundred signatures, that another book had to be opened.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have some lovely messages from my customers. Lots of people are ill, but they still have time to thank me. It is really sweet.”

He said he even received a call from woman who had been a customer 25 years ago.

“It is very special and makes me feel humble to be able to provide a good service for these people.”

Mr Lewis said he was only retiring from his pharmacy job, as he planned to continue his work as an Invercargill City councillor.

“One of the major reasons [to retire from the pharmacy] was to be more involved in the council job. Next year, I plan to put my hat in the ring again.”‘

He said some of the customers had also asked him if he had any plans to run for Mayor and challenge Sir Tim Shadbolt.

“‘People asked me that and I gave pretty vague answers. Maybe it was a thought that I had, but no… I’m happy as a councillor.”

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