McCAUGHEY’S Pharmacy has been delivering expert service to Somerset East and surrounding towns for nearly a century and it came as a shock when clients heard that this well-known family business had been sold.
As the well-known adage goes: there’s a time to come and a time to go. The time to come for the McCaughey’s was in 1920, when James McCaughey arrived in South Africa from Ireland. In 1921 he came to Somerset East and bought the pharmacy from George Uhlig.
In the years ahead, he concentrated on improving his business and providing a good service to the public by working until 21:00 three nights a week and a few hours on Sunday mornings. Until about 1960, he taught seven chemist apprentices, who later went into very successful businesses of their own. Being somewhat ignorant about ladies’ cosmetics, he hired a lady assistant to lend help in this department.
In 1957, his son, Hugh, joined him after he had completed his apprenticeship at the firm of Kirkman and Wessels, who both worked as apprentices for James McCaughey in 1928 and 1932 respectively, in East London and his studies at the Durban Technikon.
Hugh immediately started modernising the pharmacy which, by that time, had been moved a few times and was now at 86 Charles Street. He created a bigger shop with a wider variety to offer his clients. James McCaughey left the pharmacy in the capable hands of his son, Hugh, and retired in 1965.
Hugh McCaughey’s son, Kevin, joined the firm in 1985 after completing his studies at Rhodes and having done a one year practical. Hugh retired in 1990 at the age of 56 and passed away in 2004. He will be remembered as a friendly and dedicated businessman always at the ready to assist.
In 1995, Kevin moved the business to where it is currently situated at 52 Nojoli Street where two shops were incorporated into one spacious shop.
He stepped up to the plate in order to modernise the pharmacy by launching a new concept of self-service options, as well as stocking a versatile and varied selection of products artfully exhibited.
The staff grew exponentially with his latest venture but all to the good as business is done in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere while a high standard of professionalism and efficiency is maintained.
On November 4, the F. Troskie Family Trust will be taking ownership of the McCaughey Pharmacy as Kevin and his wife, Kerry, who has supported him throughout the years of hard work, will go into retirement.
Kevin has extended heartfelt thanks to all the pharmacy’s dedicated customers throughout the years.
“We thank all our customers for their continued support for three generations of McCaughey’s – James, Hugh and Kevin. It is with huge appreciation and humility that we bid you goodbye.”
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