Ongoing part of the community

LOCAL SUPPORT: The team at Ron Dunford Chemist are a big part of the community that they help serve and look after. Photo: Supplied
LOCAL SUPPORT: The team at Ron Dunford Chemist are a big part of the community that they help serve and look after. Photo: Supplied

THERE are not many businesses that can celebrate almost 100 years of providing services to their local community, however Ron Dunford Chemist in Parkes is one of those rare few. The pharmacy has been treating and assisting the people of Parkes and the surrounding region in one form or another since 1925 when the business first opened under the name John Davies.

TOP TEAM: There is always expert assistance and advice available at Ron Dunford Chemist, along with some well-deserved rewards. Photo: Supplied

TOP TEAM: There is always expert assistance and advice available at Ron Dunford Chemist, along with some well-deserved rewards. Photo: Supplied

Since then several changes in name and ownership have come along including Godfrey Moss in 1934, Ken Payne in 1948 and of course Ron Dunford from 1964 to 2015. In 2015, the business joined the Pharmacy Alliance group, however Pharmacy Manager, Jenny Leeming, said it was important to keep the existing business name. "Pharmacy Alliance kept the name Ron Dunford Chemist as they were aware what an impact Ron has had in the community of Parkes, and wanted to honour his role in pharmacy by using his name."

The pharmacy originally opened to help service the increasing population in Parkes, and now employs three pharmacists and 12 full time seniors, along with 10 school juniors that help after school and on Saturday mornings.

Jenny has been involved with Ron Dunford Chemist for 23 years and said the secret to their ongoing success came back to simple values and passion. "Customer service, caring for peoples health by having professional pharmacists, all backed by well trained staff," she said.

"I'm proud of the pharmacy. Over the years I have seen many changes within the pharmacy, and I want the Parkes people to be proud of the services we offer."

CHALLENGE: While COVID continues to cause issues, the staff have ensured that all COVID safety protocols are followed. Photo: Supplied

CHALLENGE: While COVID continues to cause issues, the staff have ensured that all COVID safety protocols are followed. Photo: Supplied

And proud she should be. Ron Dunford Chemist has always been a strong supporter of the wider community and Jenny said it is something they focus strongly on. "We donate to many small villages around the area as well as Parkes and we are sponsors for many annual events," she said.

"We have also in the past, but not so much recently due to COVID, hosted many events within in the pharmacy like Breast Awareness Day, Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, and Reading Day.

"We currently have our 'Healthcare Heroes' and every time a customer purchases a product we give them a token that they put in one of three tins, and we donate back to those facilities including our current ones CanAssist Parkes, Curragong Disability Parkes and Forbes' Women's Shelter."

While the history of Ron Dunford Chemist is a bright one, Jenny said its future shares the same positive outlook. "It's about being friendly and knowing our customers and their families, having professional advice available to our customers immediately, and providing a professional service," she said. "The human connection is very important to us in the pharmacy."

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