Alan and Anne Docherty are retiring after having dedicated over fifty-five combined years of service to local pharmacy.
Congratulations on your retirement. What helped you make the decision?
Anne: We are ready! I have been in pharmacy for over 42 years. I am 63-years-old. I have been working very long hours for a lot of years.
Alan: call me Doc; everyone does. I have been in pharmacy for over 16 years, and before that I taught at Armidale High School for 20 years.
What were the greatest achievements during your pharmacy years?
Anne: I started in partnership with Peter Aggs and Helen Dickins, and that was a really special time. Once they semi retired (Helen still works part time) and Doc joined the business with me, we took opportunities as they came along. We moved the Amcal Pharmacy from the Mall into the Coles East Mall Complex. It was controversial at the time, with people thinking we were silly to move from the Mall. In hindsight, it definitely turned out to be the right move.
Doc: Then we had the opportunity of changing our Soul Pattinson Pharmacy into Priceline Pharmacy. That, too, has been successful. That was a really big move, because we had to convert over 400 square metres of the old Centrepoint Arcade into a Priceline Pharmacy. It was a huge job, because builder Paul Marquardt had to convert the arcade into one level.
Anne: Another opportunity we embraced was opening the Terry White Pharmacy in the new Centro.
It has been a privilege running three of the best pharmacy brands in Australia. Each are very different from the other, yet all of them offer different services and opportunities.
What have your main roles been?
Anne: I am the pharmacist. I have been working from the Amcal Pharmacy for over 34 years and I have enjoyed advising customers on all their health issues.
Doc: I ran the business side of things, such as negotiation for leases and buildings. I also spent time with customers and staff, mainly between Priceline and Terry White Pharmacies.
Anne: We are both people people, so we have really loved interacting with our staff and customers.
What are your immediate retirement plans?
Anne and Doc say at the exact same time “TRAVEL”!
Anne: Our eldest daughter lives in Toulouse, France. And we have three half French grandchildren who don’t speak much English, so we are going over to visit them. I can’t wait to help Rachael with the kids.
Doc: Each time we have travelled before, we have been on time restraints, having to always return home to business. We are looking forward to not having to rush away.
Anne: The other thing we plan to do a lot of is swimming. We both love swimming. Doc used to go swimming each morning, but I could only go one day a week, on my day off.
Now we can go together. We plan to participate in some Ocean Swims. We usually try the Byron Bay Ocean Swim every couple of years, but now who knows what ocean we may swim.
Will you remain living in Armidale, and what will you do when you are at home?
Doc: Absolutely. We love Armidale. People ask me, “What are you going to do with Anne (giggle)”. I just laugh and tell them that she will disappear into the garden. I love collecting wine, so I plan to work on developing my own personal wine cellar.
Anne: Look at my big garden out there (Anne points to a huge landscaped area in her back yard). I love gardening. And that’s something I’ve always enjoyed talking with my customers about. I’ve had some great tips from customers and over the last few months (since I have known we would be retiring), my customers have given me some plants that I will treasure.
We also love bush walking. It will be great to spend more time walking through our beautiful region and national parks.
Doc: We are also members of the Hash House Harriers Running Club. We have been members for years and we plan to continue being involved in their wonderful social events. It’s a great way to stay fit and have fun at the same time.
Final word …
I have been very moved lately with all of the well wishes received from people. We have received many cards and hugs, and every one of them means the world to us. We would also like to wish the new owners Tania and Wayne all the best. We have retired knowing that we have left them a legacy of wonderful staff and three great pharmacies.
Thanks Anne and Alan, and all the best.