Gander's First Pharmacy

by Frank Tibbo

For more than ten years, residents of Gander Airport had no pharmacy. After the RCAF Station hospital was officially opened on September 12, 1941, and named the Banting Memorial Hospital, drugs were obtained. Prior to that Dr. Knapp of Lewisporte supplied patients with medicines on his visits.

In October 1950, chemist and druggist Albert Jenkins of St. John’s decided to open a drug store at Gander Airport and provided relief to the overtaxed hospital.

The following is from an article in The Gander Traveller, dated Tuesday, October 24, 1950, Volume 1, No. 1 (price: 5 cents).

“Gander Drug Store Opens Next Week"drug store

A service long needed in Gander will start operating on or about October 30, 1950, when the new Gander Drug Store opens for business.

In an interview with Mr. Albert Jenkins, the owner of the drugstore, it was learned that the store will carry a complete line of drugs, cosmetics, etc. The store is located across from Goodyear’s Grocery, in a building formerly used as a fire house and more recently occupied by Sergeant Jack Clarke.

Long Experience

Mr. Jenkins, a Pharmacist since 1941, has a strong background of experience in the business. He was associated with McMurdo’s in St. John’s for twelve years, and the recent years spent time with Central Pharmacy and the Hotel Drugstore.

The Gander Drugstore addition marks another step toward the development of a real shopping centre in the railroad station area. Further it should prove a help in relieving some of the work load now on the shoulders of the Banting Hospital staff, which handles all the filling of prescriptions for the area in addition to the multitude of other services provided by it.

The Traveller takes this opportunity to welcome Mr. Jenkins and his family to the Gander community, and we wish him well being in his new venture.

Mr. Jenkins established his pharmacy in the former fire hall on the airport. (The fire hall had been replaced by a larger and more modern facility.)

When the residents moved from the airport, Mr. Jenkins built the first pharmacy in the Town of Gander in the town square along with the Gander Co-operative, Goodyears, Toytmans, the Royal Bank, Eatons, Pinsent’s Restaurant, the Crescent Theatre, Newhook’s Auto Parts, and Tuma’s Jewellery.

contributed by F. Tibbo


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