Corner Tannock Street and Doncaster Roads
This statue is inspired by Donald (Don) Wood, who settled in North Balwyn in 1948, opening his modern chemist shop (283 Doncaster Road) in 1953. The pharmacy was designed and subsequently renovated in 1963 by the legendary Australian architect, Robin Boyd. After its extensive remodelling in 1963 by Boyd, the papers of the day reported it was a showpiece of shop design, which architects from England and South Africa visited to study.
Don and his wife, Lilian, worked in the pharmacy. Lilian was a trained chiropodist and cosmetician, while Don had studied pharmacy by correspondence when stationed in New Guinea during World War 2. After he was demobilised in 1945, he ran the family pharmacy in Kew, before establishing the Greythorn pharmacy. He was a founding committee member of the North Balwyn RSL, the first president of the Greythorn Traders Association, and briefly edited The Greythorn Gazette, a newsletter for residents. In 1963 the shop was extensively remodelled by Boyd, offering pharmacy services, cosmetic counters, camera service and toys. Air-conditioning and cash registers were other innovations. The Woods sold the pharmacy in 1969 and it continued to operate as a pharmacy until 1976.
The statue’s plaque reads:
Hi, I’m Don. My wife Lilian and I commissioned the legendary Australian architect Robin Boyd to design our chemist shop in 1953. Our signage and stationery were designed by the talented English-born designer Richard Beck, who designed the official poster of Melbourne’s 1956 Olympic Games.
Something to think about:
Chemists create compounds and while nowadays most medications are prepared in big laboratories, there are still many chemists who compound ingredients to make medicines. The mortar and pestle logo represents a chemist or pharmacist as they are known today. Think about how many ingredients were crushed in a bowl to make the early medicines. Compounds continue to be made today from basic ingredients. 28 Outer Circle Mirror, 18 June 1963.