Display in honour of founder

Remembering. . . Hokonui Heritage Research officer Bruce Cavanagh and Quins Gore Phar macy owner Fiona Gemmill hold the panel recognising Thomas Quin that will be placed in the shop’s window. Mr Quin who was a World War I veteran opened the busi ness in 1908. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

A former pharmacy owner whose business name has endured for more than 100 years in Gore is being honoured this Anzac Day.

A panel acknowledging Thomas Quin, who started Quin’s Pharmacy in 1908, has been printed and will form part of the Anzac Day display at Quin’s Gore Pharmacy.

The pharmacy is owned by Fiona and Stephen Gemmill.

Last year a customer showed Mrs Gemmill a page from a book where Mr Quin was mentioned, she said.

The book was written by Wendon author Doug Wing and is called Comradeship, Welfare, Remembrance; Gore District Memorial RSA.

When she had spare time recently, Mrs Gemmill did some research to find out if the Mr Quin in the book was the same person who started the pharmacy was.

She emailed Hokonui Heritage Research Centre curator Bruce Cavanagh, who found “an amazing amount of information from previous Ensign papers and his war records”.

“The thing I found fascinating almost 100 years since he passed away his name still continues .. his name is still part of the business.”

Mr Quin’s obituary in the Mataura Ensign in 1929 held a wealth of information, she said.

“Once we realised he was really instrumental in the community supporting returned servicemen, we thought we would acknowledge him for Anzac Day.

“We usually do an Anzac Day window.”

Mrs Gemmill gathered information, wrote it up and sent it away to be printed in panel format.

Memorial. . . A close up of the panel recognising Thomas Quin who started Quin’s Pharmacy in 1908. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON



Details of Mr Quin’s life and part of his obituary was included in the panel.

She included the piece from the October 5 obituary because it seemed to sum up the kind of man Mr Quin was.

It reads “A man of genial disposition, generous to a fault, ever ready to lend a helping hand to his fellows, always prepared to answer any deserving call, a keen local patriot, loved and revered by all who knew him.”

Mr Quin served in New Zealand and overseas in the medical corps.

He did not go overseas until 1917.

Before returning to New Zealand in 1920, he completed optician’s training in England.

Mr Quin was held in high regard after the war, Mrs Gemmill said.

When veterans had difficulty accessing war pensions, Mr Quin would help them.

If the men had a lingering injury they had not reported at the time, those in authority needed proof, which Mr Quin would gather.

“They had to prove their injuries were caused by war.

“He was considered by the war office to be a man of integrity and very astute and reasonable.”

Mr Cavanagh said he found many advertisements while researching in past editions of the Mataura Ensign , including the one when Mr Quin started the business in 1908.

There was another in 1917 advising his customers the business would close as he was going to war.

Mr Cavanagh, who is also the Gore RSA padre, was pleased Mr Quin had been recognised.

He suggested families research and tell the stories of their relatives who had gone to war.

“There are a whole lot of people like [Mr Quin] who are forgotten.

Mr Quin’s contribution as a pharmacist was just as important as someone who fought on the front line, he said.

What was significant about Mr Quin was he did not stop serving when the war stopped, he said.

“His life has revolved around service.”

The kind of men Mr Quin helped were not in a position to stand up for themselves, he said.

“Those guys came back pretty broken.”

After Anzac Day the panel would be displayed on the shop wall.