John Spick celebrates 50-year milestone

From a very young age, John Spick knew he wanted to be a pharmacist.

Now, as he celebrates 50 years of running his Blackwood pharmacy and serving fourth-generation customers, it seems clear it was a path he was destined to take.

John can trace his origins with Symbion back to the 1970s when he joined Faulding, as it was then known, with the purchase of a small pharmacy in Blackwood, South Australia. Since then, he has always remained with Symbion and those who work closely with him attribute this to his belief in relationships and respect.

Symbion Senior Key Account Manager Michael McNeil worked with John for 30 years as his account manager and he believes John is best described as a humble and quiet achiever.

“What always stood out to me over the decades we worked together was how quietly knowledgeable he is,” Mr McNeil said.

“His ability to stay ahead of the curve with things like technology and being an early adopter of new ways of doing is also impressive.

“John has always been in it for the human side of the business and helping his customers. It speaks volumes about him that he’s now serving fourth-generation customers.

“As a loyal business operator, and in his very unassuming way, he has always sought to be treated with the same care in which he looks after his customers – and that’s certainly the foundation on which we built a relationship with him.”

‘No plans for retirement’ 

John is now 86 years old and still works in the pharmacy in a locum capacity.

The small store he first bought has been expanded over the years and has transitioned through the Symbion brand portfolio, from Pharmacy Choice to Chemmart, then becoming a TerryWhite Chemmart in 2016.

John has no plans for retirement just yet and he works closely with his Retail Manager, Colleen Rodgers – another longstanding relationship.

“I have worked with John for almost 21 of the 40 years I have been in the pharmacy industry,” Ms Rodgers said.

“He has overcome a lot of challenges over his 50 years to create what is a beloved and well-respected business.

“He’s had great support along the way from our staff as well as the team at Symbion and TerryWhite Chemmart and that’s been really important, but so much of John’s success is down to who he is as a person.

“John is supportive and generous, and I’ve certainly enjoyed the journey working alongside him with many opportunities along the way for my own growth and development in the industry.”

‘It’s always been about my customers’

And for John himself, what has kept him going for the last 50 years?

“Certainly a lot has changed over the 50 years. But for me, it has always been about supporting the community and nurturing the strong relationships I have formed with many of my customers over the years”, John said.

Symbion Chief Executive Officer Brett Barons said John was to be commended on reaching this significant milestone.

“We’ve been privileged to be part of John’s 50-year journey from the very beginning,” he said.

“We congratulate him on this incredible achievement, and we thank him for his loyalty and continued support for Symbion over five decades.”

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