One of the nation’s foremost pharmaceutical patriarchs, Ernest Wellesley Piper, has died at the age of 92 years. He passed away “peacefully at his home” last Saturday morning, September 23.
Piper’s pharmaceutical legacy began when he bought the Laurent Drug Store in 1977. In 1989 he changed the name of the pharmacy to Piper’s Pharmacy, which would then go on to be an institution here in Antigua and Barbuda.
“People would come in and he would mix something for them from the old-time compound,” recalls his niece, Christine Piper.
“Sometimes people would come in and say they have no money and he would tell them to just go head . . . Just go head and let me know if it works.”
One long-time patron of the pharmacy recounts that, “he never forced you to use his remedy. He always said if so and so don’t work, try this or that”.
“He was a true stalwart of good customer service. He never seemed as if he was in a bad mood.”
Another patron mentions how, “gentle, kind, caring and respectful he was, regardless of who you were.
“He was the ‘people’s pharmacist,” she adds.
“If anyone needed any old-fashioned rub/mixture, Mr. Piper was the man to see,” tells another.
Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Alfred Athill, says that, “Mr. Piper has meant a lot to me personally and professionally”.
The director expounds that, “since 1984, he has been a mentor to me.
“[He] has been a pioneer in Antigua over the years in many respects. It was the pharmacy that you would go to get items that were very hard to get. Doctors would send patients to get both the extemporaneous (one’s you had to mix on site) and traditional prescription.”
“He will be missed greatly and will leave a serious void.”
Ernest Piper was awarded the Most Illustrious Order of Merit in 2004 for his marked contributions in the field of health.
The pharmacist is survived by his wife of 47 years, Marilyn Piper. Also left to mourn are his three children – Ernston “Ernie” Piper, Ernmarie Piper and Craig Piper. He also has two grandchildren – Julian and Shaun Piper.
The funeral of Ernest Piper will be held next Thursday, October 5 at the St Andrews Cathedral on Fort Road at 2 p.m.
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CONGRATS on achieving the grand age of 92. May your family cherish the beautiful memories that they shared with you. Sleep on til resurrection morning.
Ernest Piper has not died he has made his transition. This is a loving soul that will live eternally as Jesus said. Uncle P was a peaceful, prosperous, powerful, patient, polite, and pleasant; also a loving child of God. Uncle P knew that he was just as God created him prosperous, with everlasting love, and forgiveness. May we all tap into the source as Uncle P did!
Leo Kerr Stewart
We ALL have an appointment with death (Hebrews 9:27)
Condolences to his family.
Our condolences to his family from the community in Tortola, British Islands where he worked as a Pharmacists at the then Cottage Hospital now Peebles Hospital. May his soul rest in peace.
My Condolences to the entire family
His legacy lives on
Condolences from the US. I am a pharmacist in the states. My grandparents were from Montserrat. Rest In Peace, Mr. Piper.
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