Bruce Culpan inside Remuera Pharmacy c1960. Photo courtesy of Remuera Pharmacy
The building occupied by Remuera Pharmacy was constructed in 1909, and has been a pharmacy continuously for 100 years since that date. Fred Blott opened as the local chemist in 1909; Frank Sanft carried on from 1944 until 1953 when Bruce Culpan took over, retiring after 50 years in 2003. Remuera Pharmacy has been owned by David Gaseltine since then.
Fred worked very long hours in his early days, his shop open every week night until 9 o'clock, except on Saturday when it shut at 10pm. On Sundays it opened in the mornings and evenings. Fred was one of the foundation subscribers of The Auckland All Night Dispensary. In 1916 the first All Night Pharmacy opened in Khyber Pass Road.
Frank Sanft had two brothers who were pharmacists in Auckland City but never qualified as a pharmacist himself. He had to employ a qualified pharmacist, the longest serving being Samuel Henry Kerr.
Bruce Culpan was Frank Sanft's relieving pharmacist and bought the business from his estate after Frank was killed in a car crash on Grafton Bridge aged 47. Bruce won 2 silver medals for New Zealand in rowing at the Commonwealth Games, in 1950 and 1954. Bruce sold the business to one of his former apprentices, David Gaseltine, in 2003. David continues to own and manage Remuera Pharmacy.
Information supplied by Remuera Heritage Inc.