Dixon’s Pharmacy – Testimonials
Mrs Betty Holmes
Mrs Betty Holmes of Wynyard (pictured below) remembered the Inglis cough medicine from Dixon’s Pharmacy in the beginning. “It oiled your throat”, she said. “We were in the middle of the depression… people couldn’t get work, if they were sick they couldn’t afford the doctor. They’d put themselves on the mercy list at Dixon’s. He was a kind man- when you get a job, we’ll pay you, they’d say! …People thought he could fix anything.”
Mrs Betty Holmes of Wynyard remembers. “There were two big bottles I can remember in the store, they were something I’d never forget (decanters on display). One green, one red and I looked at them… I’d never forget about that.” Precious childhood memories from some of Dixon’s lifelong customers. “All my life, I’ve been in and out of that shop like a Yo-Yo.”
Mrs Wigg, of Wynyard Tasmania has fond memories of Dixon’s Pharmacy across generations.
“4 or 5 years ago I went into the chemist for something. He said they didn’t usually keep it in stock, so they’d order it in from Hobart. So I came home and thought ”oh well”… about 20 past six the doorbell rung and there was David Dixon, and he’d gone over to the Burnie hospital to get the drug for me and brought it back here. It made me feel very special. That was nice wasn’t it?”
“When I get in a lot of pain, which seems to happen a lot now, I have to divert myself. Usually I go outside… that works for a little while, but then I need a rest. So I come in and I do this (crossword). I got stuck on one of the answers. Usually I ring up my son and he looks it up for me on the computer but he was away that day. Oh bother, I thought- I couldn’t get it. Then I thought, I’ve got to go to the chemist, there’s a lot of smart guys in there. Mrs Wigg, of Wynayrd, a loyal customer over generations then took her crossword into the team at Dixon’s Pharmacy. “They thought it was a bit of a joke. It was pretty nice, wasn’t it? Getting it fixed up. She bakes a much anticipated Christmas cake for the staff every year.
Mrs Wigg of Wynyard reminisced about being a new mother visiting Dixon’s. “I was parked out the front of the store with my 6 month old baby and I couldn’t get out. I couldn’t get up the energy to go home either, so I just sat there and one of the staff (from Dixon’s) came out and brought me a glass of water and a little bag of jellybeans. I was right then, I got the courage to go home”.
Cal Walker of Wynyard has overwhelming memories of curiosity. “There were all these cabinets, some glass fronted, Bunsen burners and a small counter where the pharmacist decanted his pills, counting them. You’d bring your own bottle back, they were corked bottles in those days. Mrs Dixon’s used to make the cough medicines and the elixirs in the kitchen, I guess. It was mysterious.” These memories plucked from the days when Cal Walker was a young boy, most probably entering the store with his parents.
Cyril Dixon, of Wynyard descendant of the original Dixon’s pharmacist Arthur Dixon, has a publication When Camp Creek Flowed Free, The Dixon Papers, 1800- 2000. There is much detail is this historic account, some which taps into the long lasting Dixon’s Pharmacy. Tales of explosives blowing the back of the shop off, sixpence earnings a day, cures of asthma cigarettes and an opium laced “baby soother” and much talk of generosity which has carried through into modern day practices.