FORMER Kiama pharmacist Gerry McInerney has retired, but far from sitting around, he will remain active in his chosen field and the Kiama community.
Apart from spending more time at home and travelling, he will remain active through his roles with the government appointed position on the Pharmacy Board of Australia.
This position won't expire until the end of 2015. He hopes to continue to do consultancy work.
"But I think the thing I will enjoy most will be when Helen and I meet my old customers, many who have become life-long friends, in the main street and have time to chat or have a cup of coffee," Mr McInerney said.
Mr McInerney came to Kiama in 1966 to work as a pharmacist with Jim Pearce and when Mr Pearce purchased the Brighton Hotel, Mr McInerney took the opportunity to purchase the business, which has continued to thrive since.
"We have been amazed at the generosity of their (the community's) feelings towards us following the sale of our Priceline Pharmacy to Blooms the Chemist Kiama.
"Kiama is a vibrant community and has been a wonderful place for my wife, Helen, and me to have lived and brought up our four children.
"We have enjoyed tremendous loyalty and it has been so rewarding to not only maintain so many of those original clients, who are still living, but their children and in some cases their grandchildren as well," he said.
Mr McInerney took time to acknowledge the great work of his business partner and daughter, Sarah.
He said much of the phenomenal growth that the business achieved over the past five years was a result of her efforts as managing partner.
"Also, no business can succeed without reliable and obliging staff and we have been so fortunate in this regard," he said.
"To have three staff members who have accumulated 60 years in the pharmacy is a tremendous feat, while there are others who individually have provided 10 years service. Perhaps my 47 years, both working in and owning the pharmacy, may be a record for a pharmacy," he said.
Mr McInerney's record of community leadership and commitment is also one to admire.