Lots of history behind Kalamunda’s longest surviving pharmacy

Lots of history behind Kalamunda’s longest surviving pharmacy

IT’S the Hills oldest surviving chemist and its rich history of dispensary started with Lola Witham, a pioneer for women in the industry.

Daughter Lola Levingston said her mum was the first female pharmacist to run a country store in WA.

“Mum opened the first pharmacy in Kalamunda at the top end of Central Road Mall in 1931 with just 12 pounds,” she said.

“She became known in the community for her bottles of flu mixture which she made from her own formula.

“She married in 1936 and with her husband Jack Giles built this new shop in Haynes Street which still stands today as a pharmacy.”

Current owner Graham Mclachlan purchased Haynes St Pharmacy in 2003 and said some of the medications that were around in 1933 were still used today.

“Pharmacists used to make their own medications before tablets became big production with the pharmaceutical companies,” he said.

“There are still some old time medications that are knocking around such as cod liver oil, antibiotics, aspirin and some of the cough mixtures.”

Mr Mclachlan said the industry had changed significantly over the decades.

“I have been a pharmacist since 1983 and one of the biggest changes I have seen in my time is the increase in the range of medications that are now available for every condition imaginable,” he said.

“As a pharmacist we need to check that these medications don’t interact with other medications or foods and we need to explain what to expect from the medications.”

Mr Mclachlan attributed the longevity of the chemist to good old fashioned customer service.

“It comes down to the service provided to the community by the pharmacy for over 80 years,” he said.

“My son Matthew bought into the business in 2010 and our prime objective is to be a community pharmacy that supplies extraordinary service.”

MORE: Police charge protesters after sit-in at Christian Porter’s Ellenbrook office

MORE: Police looking for man who took staff member’s bag from Black Swan Winery

MORE: Police seeking witnesses to serious crash in Connolly