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Funeral held for founder of chemist chain Gordons

Kerry McCrea of Action Cancer and Neil Gordon of Gordons Chemists at the launch of a breast cancer awareness campaign by the charity

Kerry McCrea of Action Cancer and Neil Gordon of Gordons Chemists at the launch of a breast cancer awareness campaign by the charity

The funeral was held today for the co-founder of Northern Ireland’s largest independent pharmacy chain, Gordons Chemists.

Neil Gordon, 61, was the managing director of the family-run business that operates 52 stores across the Province and nine in Scotland.

He died on Friday following an illness.

Although his family had a background in farming in the Jerrettspass area near Newry, Mr Gordon had an early interest in pharmacy and at 14 he began working Saturdays and school holidays in his uncle’s shop.

After completing his degree at Bradford University, he returned home in 1974 to work for Connors Chemists in Warrenpoint – performing various roles, including opening and managing a new pharmacy in Banbridge before being appointed as a director.

In 1978 he moved to London to manage a community pharmacy with a view to opening his own business.

Along with his brother Robert, he purchased 
McKnight’s pharmacy in Donaghadee in 1980 and went on to expand the business to its current strength.

In 1996, the brothers opened a company headquarters and distribution centre in Banbridge.

Mr Gordon received a Fellowship of the Pharmaceutical Society Award in December last year for outstanding services to the profession.

He also sat on many voluntary organisation’s boards and committees both inside and outside Pharmacy, including the Lighthouse Trust, the Donaghadee Community Workforce , and was a long-standing member of both Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce and Belfast City Centre Management.

Mr Gordon lived at Craigavad, Co Down and is survived by his wife Carol, sons Ryan and Gareth and daughter Fiona, mother Jean and brothers Robert, Geoffrey, Garry and Keith.

He was buried after a private family service, held today at 5pm in St Philip and St James’ Parish Church, Holywood.

 

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