JP Davies Pharmacy, located on the prominent inter-section of Vulture and Boundary Streets, was family owned and operated for more than 120 years.
Local pharmacist George Fotinos now owns the long established JP Davies pharmacy, with its strong ties to West End. “It is a real privilege to be part of West End’s history. My wife’s family have lived in South Brisbane for more than 40 years. She attended Brisbane State High School, as do our children,” said George. “The Davies family were very careful in choosing a pharmacist that would maintain the high ethical standards warranted in pharmacy and particularly for West End. They were very keen to see the people of West End continue to have their health needs serviced locally.”
JP Davies Pharmacy’s legacy began with patriarch John Davies who completed his pharmacy qualifications at the leading Guy’s Hospital in London. He bought the pharmacy in West End when he migrated to Australia in 1885. John also served as Mayor of South Brisbane, elected in 1905.
The pharmacy is not the only landmark in West End to represent the Davies’ legacy. John oversaw the acquisition the West End reserve now called Davies Park. Some of the Moreton Bay fig trees there were personally planted by John while his nephew, John Percival ‘JP’ supervised the tree planting. John purchased the land in 1900 and the Davies Park Memorial grandstand was completed during 1914. Six years ago, the park was leased by the Queensland Rugby Club who constructed bleacher stands that can seat a capacity of thousands.
JP Davies studied pharmacy at his uncle’s request and following John’s death in April, 1911, JP became proprietor. JP served as President of The Pharmaceutical Society of Queensland. He was also a member of The Pharmacy Guild of Queensland and the Royal National Association. JP was also President of the South Brisbane Bowls Club in 1942-43.
JP and his wife Isabel’s eldest daughter, Doris, was born in April 1911, the month and year that John Davies died. Doris became third generation proprietor after the death of her father in December, 1948. Towards the end of the 1950s, Doris and her sisters decided to extend the pharmacy, purchasing the shop beside it and using both blocks of land to build the present building. Doris’s daughter, Susan, was the fourth generation proprietor for 40 years. She then sold it to George Fotinos in 2008.
George, who is an elected committee member of the Queensland Branch of the Pharmacy Guild, is dedicated to ensuring the pharmacy will continue to be the focal point for health information and services in West End. Like the Davies family, a career in pharmacy also runs in the Fotinos family. “Pharmacy is strong in my family. I was inspired by my now retired pharmacist uncle, Charles Fotinos, to pursue pharmacy as a career. I have three cousins who are practising pharmacists and another in her second year of training. I am very committed to the pharmacy profession and currently have five students learning their trade hands-on at JP Davies Pharmacy,” said George.
Words by Jessica Ebser | Images by Patrick Sherlock