Terry White celebrates 45 years at Westfield Marion
When Westfield Marion celebrated its 50th birthday last year, it was a big deal. What most shoppers didn’t know was that one of the businesses inside the centre was celebrating its own, even more impressive birthday.
Patrick Carrig’s great-grandfather started Carrig Chemists in 1888 in Port Augusta, where he was the first Australian-born mayor. Over the generations the business expanded around the state, eventually moving to Adelaide in the late ’40s. The Carrigs opened a store in Westfield Marion Shopping Centre in 1973, just after Patrick was born. But he wasn’t planning on joining the family business – he wanted to be a geologist.
While he was studying, he drove stock to and from the company warehouse in Kent Town. Then he helped move the store to its current location as part of the centre redevelopment in 1997, driving his combi van through the middle of the mall. “It was after hours, obviously, but I felt a bit like The Blues Brothers,” he laughs at the memory. Still, it was only meant to be a temporary job.
And yet after living in the UK for eight years he found himself returning to take over the family business. It helped that he majored in pharmacology at university, and as the manager of Terry White Chemmart Marion he’s become an integral part of the local community.
Today Patrick gives help and reassurance to hundreds of new and expectant mothers who come from Flinders Medical Centre every year. He also provides free blood pressure checks, medication management and consults in addition to filling prescriptions.
Not too much has changed since he began working at the store in 2003, but one thing he doesn’t do as much these days is sell cold and flu medication. This year, he gave 800 flu vaccinations – the most he’s ever done - and he laughs that “we didn’t sell as much as we usually do, but that’s much better.” After all, he knows that his job is to keep the community healthy, just as his family has been doing for 130 years.
Words by Alexis Buxton-Collins