CHAMPION COLUMN | The chemist who was a photographer

For anyone who lived in the South-West during the greater part of the 20th century, Murray's Pharmacy (pictured) at 277 Macquarie Street at Liverpool will be a very familiar name. Liverpool-born Gus Murray opened the store in 1933 in an era when family-run stores dominated the high street -- Ashcroft's, Coles, Pearce's, Christiansen's, Wych's, Wheeler's come to mind.

Dr Pirie and Dr Lovejoy were the only doctors in town at the time. The only other chemist, Shaw's, was just a bit down the street.

The Murray family lived above the shop which was one of the older buildings that once lined most of the Western side of Macquarie Street.

It was originally graced with an overhanging veranda and iron lacework. Gus and his wife Barbara had three sons, Patrick, Robert and Sean, who spent much of their childhood playing on that veranda. The building still stands today, sadly without the veranda.

Pat joined the family business in the 1950s and in 1962 qualified as a pharmacist.

Pat's passions outside pharmacy included photography, film and local history.

This was to manifest itself in the store which sold photographic equipment and displayed historic photos of Liverpool.

Pat was an early member of the Liverpool Historical Society, joining in 1960. He took thousands of photos of Liverpool and also shot super 8 footage of various events, including the 1960 Liverpool Sesquicentenary celebrations and re-enactment by the historical society.

He went on to successfully serve as an alderman on Liverpool Council in the late 1960s and contributed significantly to saving Collingwood House and Rosebank Cottage.

Pat sold up and retired in 2006 after working for 52 years in the one store.

Now 81, he still loves photography.

  • SOME GUS MURRAY PHOTOS ONLINE

GLEN OP DEN BROUW

President, Liverpool Historical Society

Comments