PORTADOWN chemist Raymond Anderson has been honoured yet again by his peers who this week presented him with the Ulster Chemists Association Outstanding Contribution Award.
It’s the latest in a string of honours bestowed on the pharmacist who runs two chemist premises in the town - one at Thomas Street and the other at Gilford Road.
The award was handed over at the association’s Pharmacy in Focus event in the Ramada Hotel in Belfast, with Peter Dixon of the sponsors ‘Zentiva’ and Stephen Slaine of the association doing the honours.
And it went to perhaps the busiest and most enthusiastic chemist in Northern Ireland. Raymond is involved in just about every aspect of pharmacy, not least as president of the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association, to which he was elevated in 2011. That post has taken him to conferences in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Geneva, Uganda, South Africa, Berlin and Botswana.
The next meeting - the annual meeting - is in the Bahamas, and Raymond has done such an excellent job that he may be re-elected. “That’s up to the membership,” is his sole comment.
On the local scene, he has held just about every position in the NI Pharmaceutical Society, including the presidency from 2006-09, and he has also served the Central Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee in various guises, and also served the Banbridge and Craigavon Local Health and Social Care Group for several years. And, on a GB basis, he served on the Oversight Group as the province’s representative.
However, the part of the profession he enjoys best is serving the Portadown community, with the family’s history as chemists going back 60 years. His father, the late Noel Anderson, and mother, Mrs Muriel Anderson, set up in Killicomaine estate and in High Street in 1952 - Noel passed away in 1972 and his wife kept the business going, to be joined by Raymond in 1980 after he graduated from Queen’s University.
The High Street premises were next to the old Imperial Hotel, later Wellworth’s and now waiting for a tenant, and next to Saxone Shoes, now JR McMahon’s at the corner with Edward Street.
Said Raymond, “I’m very honoured to receive this latest award from my peers, and privileged to serve the people of Portadown who have supported our family business over the years.
“The bottom line is that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of being a chemist, and I simply could not have done it without the dedication of my staff - they have been terrific. Nobody can do these things on their own.”