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Tribute to Ian Caldwell

With the passing of Ian Caldwell, the pharmacy profession in Glasgow and the West of Scotland has lost the third of its “elder statesmen” in the past 14 months.

Like Betty Meikle and Jim Bannerman, Ian rose to high office first in the local branch and then through the Scottish Executive, becoming its chairman. In this capacity he attended council meetings, which whetted his appetite for greater participation in pharmacy politics. Having completed his term as chairman, he successfully stood for council, eventually being elected president in 1996. Coincidentally, 1996 was the year of the last British Pharmaceutical Conference to be hosted by a local branch, that branch being Glasgow and the West of Scotland. One of the proudest moments of Ian’s career was standing, as president, in the Barony Church welcoming 1,000 delegates to his home city.

I first met Ian in the early 1980s when, having moved to Scotland from Yorkshire, I became involved in the local branch. Ian resided in the catchment of the Lanarkshire branch, of which I was secretary. However, a Glasgow pharmacist to the core, he was a member of the Glasgow and West of Scotland branch. Try as I might to get him to change his allegiance, I was unsuccessful; we did however strike up a friendship that lasted over 30 years.

Throughout my time in the West of Scotland, Ian has been someone to whom I could turn for sound and honest advice. He was always ready to help fellow professionals, especially the younger generations of pharmacists, and I have fond memories of our many conversations over the years. One of the highlights of my career was being asked by the Glasgow branch to act as treasurer to the 1996 Conference Organising Committee. The four years of planning under the chairmanship of Jim Bannerman, with Ian as the vice-chairman, were some of the happiest years of my life.

Ian was passionate about his profession but was, on occasion, critical of the way it has been governed. To say he was saddened by the recent changes within the Society would be an understatement. The loss of York Place and the imminent move from Lambeth were a source of great regret to him. He had a deep pride in his profession and its history and felt, like many, that the desire for the Society to “re-invent” itself, at the expense of its past, was a bad move. Hopefully his unstinting contribution to the profession will not be forgotten; he will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

My deepest sympathy goes to Ian’s wife, Anne, and daughter Carol and her family.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068377

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