Celebrating 60 years in pharmacy

Sarah Hazell and Michael Flannery, business partners in Flannery’s Pharmacy, are excited about celebrating Flannery’s Pharmacy’s 60th birthday.  

“Last year we conducted a major refit of the store” said Michael, “so we are very excited about opening our new-look store and celebrating our 60th birthday at the same time.”

The renovation, which included the installation of automatic doors, new air conditioning, a baby health room and three new clinic rooms has been a hit with both customers and Pharmacy staff.

“The team are loving the new store, particularly the new layout and consult rooms,” said Debbie Prior, Business Manager at Flannery’s.

The Pharmacy offers a range of services such as blood pressure and blood glucose monitoring, risk assessment and referral to GPs, weight management advice, wound care services, Medschecks and information and advice on a range of health related issues such as diabetes and asthma.

“Customers now have access to a private consultation with our Pharmacists and Pharmacy Nurse as well other health professionals such as our visiting Podiatrist,” Debbie said.

“We also have a baby health room which offers mums a clean, private area to weigh, feed and change their babies,” Debbie said, “and this has been extremely well received.

“The renovation has also given us the opportunity to introduce some new products such as health foods and organic beauty ranges as well as expanding our extensive cosmetic and fragrance ranges.”

Flannery’s Pharmacy also has its own compounded range of products including magnesium sprays, dry skin cream, insect repellent, pain cream and nappy rash paste.

To celebrate Flannery’s Pharmacy’s 60th Birthday, Michael, Sarah, Debbie and the team will be hosting a morning tea from 10 am to 12 noon on Thursday 9th November. “We’d love to see lots of our customers instore to celebrate this milestone” said Sarah. “It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the new store and our 60th Birthday.  I’m sure there’ll be lots of reminiscing on the day”.

The Pharmacy will have lots of special offers instore during the week as well as some great prizes to win. “Just use your LifeClub card instore during the celebration week and you’ll enter the draw to win a daily prize of a $50 LifeClub voucher as well as entering the draw to win a $500 travel voucher and a $200 LifeClub voucher” said Debbie.

‘Times may have changed but our dedication to our customers remains the same’ said Michael ‘and we look forward to providing the Forbes community with professional, friendly service into the foreseeable future’.

A little history on Flannery’s Pharmacy ...

Flannery’s Pharmacy evolved from a partnership between Joe Finn and Ron Flannery just over 60 years ago. Ron was a local lad whose father and grandparents had lived in Forbes and at various stages owned hotels in the town. Flannery’s Hotel, as it was originally known and later to be named The Australia Hotel, on the corner of Lachlan & Templar Streets, was in the family until around 1965 under the ownership of Norman Ambrose Flannery and Ron’s mother, Marie.

Ron went to Marist Brothers College, Forbes, and then moved to Sydney where he studied Pharmacy at the University of Sydney living with his mother’s sisters in Waverley. After three years of successful study Ron did his apprenticeship in Bondi Beach before returning home to Forbes circa 1952/3.

At this time Ron went into partnership with Joe Finn and formed the Finn and Flannery Pharmacy in Rankin Street. At the time there were two other pharmacies in Forbes. One was owned by KP Mullens and the other by I.B (Bruce) Kennard whom Ron had studied with at university and who was another locally bred lad.   

After a few years of partnership Ron purchased Joe Finn’s share and the business was renamed Flannery’s Pharmacy in about 1956/7. The business has operated continuously under that name since then, physically moving to three different locations in Rankin Street. In 1975 the Pharmacy moved to the current News On Rankin site, then merged with Michael’s Pharmacy in 1994 (into right hand side of the current Furniture One site) and finally moved to its current location in September 1994.

Ron married Mary Rein in 1957 after which they co-owned the pharmacy up until Ron’s death in 1990 when Ron’s son, Michael, went into partnership with Mary and ultimately merged the two family businesses together in 1994.

Upon Mary’s death in 1997, Michael took over sole ownership of the business until in 2001 he was joined by Tania Dwyer (nee Baker) who had worked at the pharmacy as a Pharmacy Graduate and Registered Pharmacist for several years. Tania and her family moved to the South Coast in 2007.

In 2006 Sarah Hazell (nee Miller), who had worked in the pharmacy as a Pharmacy Graduate and Registered Pharmacist, joined the partnership in Flannery’s Pharmacy. Sarah Hazell and Michael Flannery remain as the owners of the business today.

“Times have certainly changed since my father owned the Pharmacy” said Michael. “When the pharmacy first opened there was only a Pharmacist and probably two or three Pharmacy Assistants.”

Back then, the pharmacist wrote all scripts into a prescription ledger and labels where typed up on a manual typewriter.

“Dad would have hand written repeats for all his customers” said Michael. “About a third of the medications were compounded by the pharmacists with creams being made on a glass slab and mixtures put together from base ingredients” said Michael.

A number of long standing staff members still live in Forbes including Marcia Simmons, Sheila Ryan, Pat Markey and Pat Thomas.

“Working in the Pharmacy has definitely been a generational calling for some Forbes families” said Michael. “Doris Kirkman and her daughter Carolyn Morrison both worked for Dad and Carolyn’s daughters, Leanne Simmonds and Lisa Jarick have also worked at Flannery’s Pharmacy.”

“When I was a lad one of my main jobs was to count 100 tablets from a bottle of 1000” said Michael.

Until the last 15 years Flannery’s Pharmacy employed a delivery boy to deliver medications after school. Michael remembers one delivery boy falling into Lake Forbes off the Camp Street Bridge and taking the medication with him.

Interestingly back in it’s heyday, 4711 cologne was the number one seller in the Pharmacy at Christmas time.

The Pharmacy now employs more than 15 staff with Pharmacists, a Pharmacy Intern, Registered Nurse, Pharmacy Assistants, a Webster Packer, Dispensary Technicians and a Stock Controller. Pharmacy deliveries are now done by a courier.  

Computers arrived in the store around 1985 with Flannery’s Pharmacy being one of the first pharmacies in the CW to have one. “Technology has definitely made our work much easier” says Sarah Hazell. “We now have 15 computers in store and provide a wide range of services such as medication packs, medication reviews, health promotion activities and scripts on file”. New technology has allowed the pharmacy to offer customers a medication app to help manage medications. GPs can use electronic prescriptions to send to the pharmacy via a secure cloud.

“We would like to thank all our wonderful customers for their continued support over the past 60 years and hope that they can join us to celebrate our 60th Anniversary,” Sarah said.