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History buff takes key role at Old Pharmacy

Pharmacy Scott
Answering the call. Scott Stedman has recently taken up the role of Volunteer Co-ordinator at the Old Pharmacy Museum in Childers.

Scott Stedman has answered the call and picked up the reins as the Volunteer Co-ordinator at the Childers Old Pharmacy Museum.

The avid history buff said he was delighted to accept the job following the decision of long-serving co-ordinator Bev Santacaterina to step down.

“Bev has been an absolute legend in the position for the past seven years both here as co-ordinator and as Secretary of the Isis District Historical Society,” Scott said.

“She was phenomenal over that time in co-ordinating window displays, handling pharmacy arrangements for the annual Childers Festival, pulling together events for the Historical Village and managing the groups who regularly visit the Old Pharmacy.

“As a volunteer group, we have been so fortunate to have the services of people like Bev and a few other recent retirees including Marilyn Cross and Elaine Turner.

“Marilyn played a major role in the ongoing cataloguing of historical items while Elaine, who was a staff member when the Pharmacy was Council-run, continued to support our volunteer efforts after finishing her employment with Council.

“I really can’t speak highly enough of that trio and all our volunteers who contribute their time and talent to help promote this wonderful slice of Childers history.”

Scott said being involved in the Old Pharmacy fed his enthusiasm for history.

He is the author of nine local history books with three more planned.

“It’s in my blood. I love the history of Childers and telling the story of Thomas Gaydon and how he established this pharmacy in 1894.

“Everything that he touched and felt is still here, the writings in his journals – around 85 percent of his memorabilia remains in this building.

The history of his sons Geoff and Noel – a dentist and chemist – also live on in this place. They have a very tangible presence,” Scott said.

“Last year marked 125 years of the Gaydon Building in which the shop is located and we had an extremely enjoyable day with many of the extended Gaydon family attending.”

Pharmacy group
Visitor numbers are growing with the recent re-opening of the Old Pharmacy Museum in Childers. Volunteer Julie Viall explains the pharmacy history to family group (from left) Joy Peterson and Jo and Peter Bainbridge of Moranbah.

Scott said the Old Pharmacy had reopened around two weeks ago and visitor numbers were increasing and especially now with Queensland school holidays underway.

“Social distancing is required, and this can limit the numbers allowed into the museum,” he said.

“It’s pretty much business as usual for the Old Pharmacy with staff involved in on-going cataloguing of items and preparing for the restart of group visits.

“One thing we will explore is any opportunity to source a billboard to promote the Old Pharmacy Museum,” Scott said.

“This may involve an approach to Council and/or submitting a grant application.

“The Old Pharmacy Museum is a unique experience and a place that everyone should visit at least once,” he said.

“There’s plenty on the horizon for the museum with bookings already in place for Christmas and beyond in anticipation of opening of the Queensland border and further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.”

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