Categorized | Featured, Local, News, Regional

Montserrat Veteran Pharmacist dies at 93

“a legacy that younger people would do well to adopt”

Tameika Malone of the Antigua Daily Observer wrote the following, adapted by The Montserrat Reporter on behalf of the family of Ernest Piper who was born in Montserrat where he began his profession developed in St. Kitts before moving over to Antigua.

Veteran pharmacist, Ernest Piper is being remembered as a business-man who genuinely loved people and was passionate about his profession.

The proprietor of Piper’s Pharmacy on lower All Saints Street passed away “peacefully” at his Old Parham Road home on Saturday in the company of his wife of 47 years – Marylyn Abbott-Piper and his nurse.

Christine Piper-Quinland said her uncle had been ill for some time due to his advanced age and he required at-home care.

Born in Montserrat, Piper worked as the apprentice pharmacist at the Glendon Hospital upon leaving school, and while there, he learnt to mix compounds and medicines and dispensed ready-made remedies that were not available.

During his time at the hospital he also administered anesthetics and injections in the absence of the resident doctor. However, in late 1950, he continued his education as a laboratory technician in St. Kitts.

The niece said that shortly after that, he was contracted for two years by the Tortola government to work at the general hospital, but his interest shifted to dentistry. He later got a job with Harper’s Limited on High Street and also worked for the government in Barbuda as a pharmacist and physician.

He was attached to the Central Board of Health for 16 years as a pharmacist.

In June 1970 Piper married Marilyn and the union resulted in three children Ernston, Ernmarie and Craig Piper. He had two grandchildren.

Seven years after tying the knot, Piper took over Laurent Drug Store and some 12 years later Piper’s Pharmacy was born.

A mentor to her, Piper Quinland said her uncle’s passion for healing got her interested in the field 17 years ago, however she focused on management of the business.

At the age of 83, Piper retired and his wife and niece continued to manage the fan1ily business.

“He retired and was home for a while before he took ill, like slowing down. W

When he celebrated his 90th birthday two years ago, he was still very mobile and the last lime he was in the pharmacy about five years ago,” she said.

Piper gave over 65 years of his life to pharmaceutical and the medical field and in 2004 he was awarded the Most Illustrious Order of Merit for his marked contributions in the field of health.

Piper was laid to rest on October 5, 2017 following a Thanksgiving service at the St. Andrews Cathedral on Fort Road.

At the Thanksgiving Service, surviving brother, Dr. Archibald Piper, who also grew up in Montserrat, delivered the following Eulogy, which is a confirmation of the man and his service to people.

         E.W.P.P. — Ernest Wesley Pontine Piper
“well done, my brother, well done”

        Today, we celebrate both his entry into and his passing from this earthly life.  Now, on occasions like this, it is acceptable and maybe even expected that we paint the nicest picture with the brightest, most serene colors intended to leave you mesmerized and at peace.  Well, I am not going to do that.  This type of puffery Ernest does not need and would not condone.  Instead, I hope to leave you with a more comprehensive portrait of the total man; the one we know at home, in church or holding a fishing rod.

        Ernest was fortunate to belong to that select group of people who learnt at a very young age exactly what his core values were and then he proceeded to strengthen and mold these into a lifestyle that was to stand him in good stead the rest of his life.  You see, he would never give up.  He would tackle projects around the house in   disciplines where he had no training such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry or otherwise and he would not quit until he solved the problem.  Let me point out to Marilyn, his wife of 47 years, that once she was identified to become Mrs. Ernest Piper, she didn’t stand a chance.  Such was his tenacity!

        Born on December 2, 1924, Ernest was the second child of Charlie and Millie Piper of Montserrat.  He was schooled in Montserrat and was to leave his mark there as Mr. Bicycle.  He had modified his bicycle converting it to a “fixed ratchet bicycle” which simply means it had no brakes.  He would get the greatest thrill from riding down Fogathy Hill back pedaling (or trying to) to get some braking action.  Of course, this had a hidden benefit because none of his friends would want to borrow his bicycle.  This included his younger brother.

        Another favorite of his was to set off solo on a Sunday morning and circumnavigate the northern half of the island — where 60% of the road was unpaved and with no established roadway or habitation.  When not going far or fast he would stand on the bicycle without moving forward or moving very little for as long as possible.  He would also transport his youngest sister around the streets of Plymouth with her seated on the crossbar.

        In Montserrat, he played inter-club cricket as a wicket keeper for the Endeavor Club and was reputed to be the best billiard player on the island at that time.

        Ernest developed an acute sense of humor and was master of the repartee.  As I watched him do this, I could just see the obvious rejoinder and watch him pluck the low lying fruit.

        Ernest qualified as a pharmacist and later as a dispensing pharmacist and chemist.  These were the days when the Doctor wrote the prescription and the pharmacist mixed the drug.  There was no going to the shelf and taking down a bottle of Robitussin, instead you got a mixture called Mist Expect which did the job just as well and I can attest to that.

        Ernest worked in Tortola and later in Barbuda where he would be Pharmacist, Dentist,  Resident Doctor and Acting Warden at the same time. Oh yes, I didn’t tell you but back in the fifties, there was no resident dentist in Montserrat.  You had a dental problem, you went to the hospital dispensary and got your tooth extracted by a student pharmacist.  If you could pay, you were seen and treated by a gentleman with no dental qualifications.

He would have been sorely anguished at the sufferings of Barbudians at this time.  He finally settled in Antigua where he took over management of Laurent’s Drugs in 1977.  He became the spokesman for the Pharmaceutical Society of Antigua and Barbuda.  In 1989 he bought Laurent’s and changed its’ name to Piper’s Pharmacy.

        He was to practice his profession until he retired in 2008, having devoted 65 years to his craft.  He developed a list of ardent patients who would always come to him before going to the doctor.  How many times have I heard him explain to a customer that he had to see the Doctor for that complaint only to get the refrain, “Just give me something Dr. P.”

        Ernest married Marilyn Abbot on June 29, 1970, and theirs has been a wonderful union.  Surviving him are their three children, Ernston, Ernmarie and Craig, all living in Antigua; three siblings, Ceres Gardiner, Archie Piper and Sybil Walling and two grandchildren — Julian and Shaun Piper.

        Ernest was honored by the State of Antigua and Barbuda with The Most Illustrious Order of Merit.  He developed a love of flowers and became a backyard horticulturalist with a strong interest in orchids and enjoyed the color and quiet of flowers as he worked among the orchids and marveled at their beauty.  He  won the personal garden award of the local horticulturalist show and was a judge of the orchid show in St. Thomas.  He believed in giving the small man a break and if he gave his word, you could then “take it to the bank”.  He never smoked, drank or tried out the dance floor and I mean never.  He did only those things that were good for his health.  Sunday mornings found him in church. Thursday afternoon found him fishing.  Ernest could be classified as “old school”.  He did not believe in credit — if you could not pay for it, then you should do without it.  I doubt he ever had a credit card.

     Ernest was a good man.  He was not simple, but neither was he complicated.  He lived by the concept of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  He leaves a legacy that younger people would do well to adopt.  His family and friends believe he will be rewarded a repose among the orchids.

     I say well done, my brother, well done.

Leave a Reply

Newsletter

The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017

https://indd.adobe.com/view/fefbe432-457e-4ac8-8976-c4a380014263

Archives

“a legacy that younger people would do well to adopt”

Tameika Malone of the Antigua Daily Observer wrote the following, adapted by The Montserrat Reporter on behalf of the family of Ernest Piper who was born in Montserrat where he began his profession developed in St. Kitts before moving over to Antigua.

Veteran pharmacist, Ernest Piper is being remembered as a business-man who genuinely loved people and was passionate about his profession.

Insert Ads Here

The proprietor of Piper’s Pharmacy on lower All Saints Street passed away “peacefully” at his Old Parham Road home on Saturday in the company of his wife of 47 years – Marylyn Abbott-Piper and his nurse.

Christine Piper-Quinland said her uncle had been ill for some time due to his advanced age and he required at-home care.

Born in Montserrat, Piper worked as the apprentice pharmacist at the Glendon Hospital upon leaving school, and while there, he learnt to mix compounds and medicines and dispensed ready-made remedies that were not available.

During his time at the hospital he also administered anesthetics and injections in the absence of the resident doctor. However, in late 1950, he continued his education as a laboratory technician in St. Kitts.

The niece said that shortly after that, he was contracted for two years by the Tortola government to work at the general hospital, but his interest shifted to dentistry. He later got a job with Harper’s Limited on High Street and also worked for the government in Barbuda as a pharmacist and physician.

He was attached to the Central Board of Health for 16 years as a pharmacist.

In June 1970 Piper married Marilyn and the union resulted in three children Ernston, Ernmarie and Craig Piper. He had two grandchildren.

Seven years after tying the knot, Piper took over Laurent Drug Store and some 12 years later Piper’s Pharmacy was born.

A mentor to her, Piper Quinland said her uncle’s passion for healing got her interested in the field 17 years ago, however she focused on management of the business.

At the age of 83, Piper retired and his wife and niece continued to manage the fan1ily business.

“He retired and was home for a while before he took ill, like slowing down. W

When he celebrated his 90th birthday two years ago, he was still very mobile and the last lime he was in the pharmacy about five years ago,” she said.

Piper gave over 65 years of his life to pharmaceutical and the medical field and in 2004 he was awarded the Most Illustrious Order of Merit for his marked contributions in the field of health.

Piper was laid to rest on October 5, 2017 following a Thanksgiving service at the St. Andrews Cathedral on Fort Road.

At the Thanksgiving Service, surviving brother, Dr. Archibald Piper, who also grew up in Montserrat, delivered the following Eulogy, which is a confirmation of the man and his service to people.

         E.W.P.P. — Ernest Wesley Pontine Piper
“well done, my brother, well done”

        Today, we celebrate both his entry into and his passing from this earthly life.  Now, on occasions like this, it is acceptable and maybe even expected that we paint the nicest picture with the brightest, most serene colors intended to leave you mesmerized and at peace.  Well, I am not going to do that.  This type of puffery Ernest does not need and would not condone.  Instead, I hope to leave you with a more comprehensive portrait of the total man; the one we know at home, in church or holding a fishing rod.

        Ernest was fortunate to belong to that select group of people who learnt at a very young age exactly what his core values were and then he proceeded to strengthen and mold these into a lifestyle that was to stand him in good stead the rest of his life.  You see, he would never give up.  He would tackle projects around the house in   disciplines where he had no training such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry or otherwise and he would not quit until he solved the problem.  Let me point out to Marilyn, his wife of 47 years, that once she was identified to become Mrs. Ernest Piper, she didn’t stand a chance.  Such was his tenacity!

        Born on December 2, 1924, Ernest was the second child of Charlie and Millie Piper of Montserrat.  He was schooled in Montserrat and was to leave his mark there as Mr. Bicycle.  He had modified his bicycle converting it to a “fixed ratchet bicycle” which simply means it had no brakes.  He would get the greatest thrill from riding down Fogathy Hill back pedaling (or trying to) to get some braking action.  Of course, this had a hidden benefit because none of his friends would want to borrow his bicycle.  This included his younger brother.

        Another favorite of his was to set off solo on a Sunday morning and circumnavigate the northern half of the island — where 60% of the road was unpaved and with no established roadway or habitation.  When not going far or fast he would stand on the bicycle without moving forward or moving very little for as long as possible.  He would also transport his youngest sister around the streets of Plymouth with her seated on the crossbar.

        In Montserrat, he played inter-club cricket as a wicket keeper for the Endeavor Club and was reputed to be the best billiard player on the island at that time.

        Ernest developed an acute sense of humor and was master of the repartee.  As I watched him do this, I could just see the obvious rejoinder and watch him pluck the low lying fruit.

        Ernest qualified as a pharmacist and later as a dispensing pharmacist and chemist.  These were the days when the Doctor wrote the prescription and the pharmacist mixed the drug.  There was no going to the shelf and taking down a bottle of Robitussin, instead you got a mixture called Mist Expect which did the job just as well and I can attest to that.

        Ernest worked in Tortola and later in Barbuda where he would be Pharmacist, Dentist,  Resident Doctor and Acting Warden at the same time. Oh yes, I didn’t tell you but back in the fifties, there was no resident dentist in Montserrat.  You had a dental problem, you went to the hospital dispensary and got your tooth extracted by a student pharmacist.  If you could pay, you were seen and treated by a gentleman with no dental qualifications.

He would have been sorely anguished at the sufferings of Barbudians at this time.  He finally settled in Antigua where he took over management of Laurent’s Drugs in 1977.  He became the spokesman for the Pharmaceutical Society of Antigua and Barbuda.  In 1989 he bought Laurent’s and changed its’ name to Piper’s Pharmacy.

        He was to practice his profession until he retired in 2008, having devoted 65 years to his craft.  He developed a list of ardent patients who would always come to him before going to the doctor.  How many times have I heard him explain to a customer that he had to see the Doctor for that complaint only to get the refrain, “Just give me something Dr. P.”

        Ernest married Marilyn Abbot on June 29, 1970, and theirs has been a wonderful union.  Surviving him are their three children, Ernston, Ernmarie and Craig, all living in Antigua; three siblings, Ceres Gardiner, Archie Piper and Sybil Walling and two grandchildren — Julian and Shaun Piper.

        Ernest was honored by the State of Antigua and Barbuda with The Most Illustrious Order of Merit.  He developed a love of flowers and became a backyard horticulturalist with a strong interest in orchids and enjoyed the color and quiet of flowers as he worked among the orchids and marveled at their beauty.  He  won the personal garden award of the local horticulturalist show and was a judge of the orchid show in St. Thomas.  He believed in giving the small man a break and if he gave his word, you could then “take it to the bank”.  He never smoked, drank or tried out the dance floor and I mean never.  He did only those things that were good for his health.  Sunday mornings found him in church. Thursday afternoon found him fishing.  Ernest could be classified as “old school”.  He did not believe in credit — if you could not pay for it, then you should do without it.  I doubt he ever had a credit card.

     Ernest was a good man.  He was not simple, but neither was he complicated.  He lived by the concept of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  He leaves a legacy that younger people would do well to adopt.  His family and friends believe he will be rewarded a repose among the orchids.

     I say well done, my brother, well done.