Immediately after graduation in May 1955, Ewart Lock joined his father, John, at Lock’s Pharmacy. Join the Lock family and their team as they host a community celebration Aug. 17 to commemorate their 70th anniversary! Photo courtesy Lock Family Collection

Celebrating 70 years! Lock’s shares the love with community

When one of Chilliwack’s longest-standing businesses celebrates a milestone 70th anniversary, who better to join the party than Chilliwack itself – the music group and the community?

Lock’s Pharmacy marks its 70th birthday on Saturday, Aug. 17 with a day-long street celebration on Main Street, which will be closed for the day. Opening with Indigenous drumming welcome, festivities include five bands, including fan favourite “Chilliwack,” food trucks and a “Volunteer Lane,” where in the Chilliwack spirit of giving, local charities can recruit volunteers!

“We’re excited to welcome our customers and the community to this celebration of longevity, success and service to the community,” says Mr. Lock.

The oldest pharmacy in Chilliwack, Lock’s Pharmacy is also one of the oldest continuously family-owned pharmacies in British Columbia. Its longevity and success are a testament to the continuing efforts of the Lock family and their team, the ability to adapt to an evolving pharmacy industry, and deciding at the outset to focus on customer service and home health care products only.

A history of community

While Lock’s has served generations of Chilliwack families since 1949, its roots reach back to 1925, when John Lock graduated from Vancouver’s Western Canadian School of Pharmacy.

Soon after, he and wife Lottie headed east along the original dirt Old Yale Road in their aging Model T Ford, settling in Chilliwack, where John opened and managed the local branch of the Vancouver Drug Company. An integral member business community, he worked with the Chilliwack Board of Trade, the annual Cherry Carnival celebrations and Rotary Club.

Seeing an untapped market for the kind of pharmacy he envisioned, in the late 1940s John joined prominent members of Chilliwack’s medical and dental community in developing the Chilliwack Medical-Dental Centre downtown.

As summer of 1949 unfolded, Chilliwack residents watched the city’s only dedicated health care services facility take shape, and the 200 sq. ft Lock’s Prescription Pharmacy opened the doors on the new pharmacy on Aug. 15, with employee Art Fast joining John.

(In addition to being its first employee, Art would also go on to become Lock’s longest-serving employee, retiring in 1994 after 40+ years of dedicated service to countless Chilliwack customers.)

The Locks’ son Ewart joined his father as a pharmacist in May 1955, taking over the family business from his father in the early 1970s and guiding its significant expansion! In 1993, after being involved in the family business for over 40 years, Ewart semi-retired, before passing the Lock’s Pharmacy family torch to his sons.

A tradition of personalized health care service

The first prescription-only pharmacy in Chilliwack, Lock’s has flourished by staying true to its vision and mission, offering a tradition of service others can’t match, such as a personalized approach to health care and free in-town prescription delivery.

Expansions have brought Lock’s to 2,851 sq. ft. – a far cry from its 200 sq.ft. start – including Lock’s Pharmacy and Lock’s Home Health Care. And in that same time, the team has filled more than 10 million prescriptions!

Throughout the years of service and growth, John Lock’s community-minded focus has remained at pharmacy’s core, giving back through numerous annual donations, scholarships and sports team sponsorships. In fact, in the past four years alone Lock’s has donated more than $250,000 to 75+ local organizations – those who have supported Lock’s Pharmacy so loyally over the past 70 years.

That tradition continues Saturday, Aug. 17, with a day full of 70th anniversary celebrations. Come join the fun!

 

Lock’s Pharmacy, captured from Main Street, shortly after it opened on Aug. 15, 1949.

John Lock and Art Fast behind the front counter of Lock’s Pharmacy, in the Chilliwack Medical-Dental Centre in May 1955, with the pharmacy about to undergo significant expansion. Photo courtesy Art Fast Collection

Who remembers this delivery wagon that served Lock’s Pharmacy customers until the mid-1960s, when it was replaced with the Volkswagen? There were many Lock’s delivery vehicles over the years, including an Acadian, Pinto, Subaru and a Nissan 4x4, but the two most memorable were the 1950s Ford station wagon and the Bug!

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