I was very sorry to read of the recent passing of Laurie Evans. I first met Laurie, together with his wife Celia, when I was aged 16 years, working the counter during evenings and weekends in a supermarket pharmacy in Southampton. Semi-retired after many years running their own pharmacy, a hub of the neighbouring community at Bitterne Triangle, Mr and Mrs Evans would frequently provide locum pharmacist cover for those evening shifts.
It’s difficult for me to talk about them as anything other than a pair, but Laurie was certainly a unique character. He encouraged my growing interest in pharmacy throughout my progression through college and university, and often gave me resources I wouldn’t otherwise have had access to. He also had a wealth of experience and advice — the sort you can’t read in textbooks — and I learned a lot from his wisdom. I remember he filled the quiet hours by keeping me entertained with humourous conversation about the ineptitude of politicians. It’s been about 12 years since I last saw him and I can only imagine what he’d have to say on the politics of more recent years.
My enduring memory will be of Laurie outside the pharmacy counselling a patient on a remedy I’d never before heard of. Another customer would recognise him from his time at Bitterne Triangle while lamenting the loss of their pharmacy. Celia would be out back making everyone a cup of tea and cracking subtle but hilarious jokes that took me a while to get. Their extremely large, fading 1950s certificates would be prominently on the hatch, towering over those of lesser experienced pharmacists. Working with this charismatic couple truly was a pleasure, and they were adored among my colleagues of the time.
I offer my warmest condolences to Celia and all the family.