I join with colleagues in paying tribute to Lawrie Robertson who sadly passed away on 9 April 2018 after a long illness. Lawrie was a highly regarded and well respected pharmacist, a profession he was extremely proud to be a member of, and had been, for over 60 years. After registration in 1955, his early dabbling in the pharmaceutical industry probably only served to reinforce his commitment to a lifelong career dedicated to community pharmacy. As an independent contractor, he eventually acquired two further pharmacies to add to his first purchase in Cathcart Road in Glasgow’s south side, developing these into today’s significantly successful businesses. In addition, he also exerted a major influence in the development and management of the three Health Centre Pharmacies he had an interest in.
Lawrie was a true gentleman and a strong advocate for independent community pharmacy, with the ability to attract and retain staff of high calibre who were equally passionate about patient care and service development. He engendered deep respect and loyalty among his various teams now struggling to come to terms with his passing. The Board is indebted to pharmacists like Mr Robertson who had the foresight to invest in their businesses to provide the necessary stability and foundation, which allowed for the introduction of innovative service developments that now abound within the NHS, positioning community pharmacy practice in Scotland as world-leading on an international stage. Many of these initiatives emanate from Greater Glasgow.
He was also a passionate and accomplished golfer who enjoyed a long association with the Glasgow Pharmacy Golfing Society, serving unstintingly as its treasurer for many years, and was an active player of some renown.
In November 2017, the last time I had an opportunity to chat to Lawrie, I was inspired by how he was managing his illness. A lesser mortal may have yielded to the rigours of the treatment or been resigned to the inevitability of their fate. Lawrie, conceding that certain limitations would have to be tolerated, was still visiting his pharmacies on a near-daily basis up until Christmas. He demonstrated a keen interest in their activities until his passing. His death is a sad loss to the pharmacy community and will be keenly felt for some time to come. However, his commitment to the profession, the standard of pharmaceutical care practised in all DLL Robertson pharmacies and the calibre of staff he nurtured and encouraged leave an impressive legacy and fitting tribute for a gentleman of Lawrie’s standing. We extend our sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to Jean at this sad time.