END OF AN ERA: Cabarita chemist Paul Mason is moving on after 20 years in the Tweed Coast village.
END OF AN ERA: Cabarita chemist Paul Mason is moving on after 20 years in the Tweed Coast village. SCOTT POWICK

Caba sad to lose chemist

AFTER 20 years of servicing the Cabarita community, pharmacist Paul Mason has decided it’s time to call it a day and take some much-needed R&R.

Mr Mason spent his last day in his Soul Pattinson Pharmacy at Cabarita last Friday, handing over the business to its new owners as he farewelled staff, customers and friends.

“It’s time for a change – 20 years of a seven-day business is hard work when you are by yourself,” he said.

“Someone has to be here 365 days a year, so it has been tough. Last December was very busy, I did 19 days straight and thought, no, I don’t want to push myself too hard. That’s what made me make the final decision.”

Mr Mason took over the business 20 years ago from an elderly couple.

“It was very small, very run down. I actually come from a big pharmacy in Tweed City and it was ‘Oh my goodness, what have I done?’,” he said.

“The first day I turned up in a shirt and tie and everyone came in and was like: ‘You’re in Cabarita, what’s with the tie?’ Ever since then I have been in shorts and a shirt.”

Mr Mason’s business grew with the community, moving from a small shopfront next to the old 727 Supermarket to its current location on Tweed Coast Rd.

“I’ve seen enormous change,” he said.

“Particularly when Woolworths went in, that’s when it went crazy. There was almost an increase of say 20% overnight. Every year business has increased since I’ve been here.”

An outpouring of love on the Boganguardians website is testament to the affection the community holds for Mr Mason.

“I am so sad to hear you are leaving Caba,” said Catherine Lynch.

“Your help and support to my husband and I over 16 years was invaluable, not to mention the professionalism of your staff.”

Mr Mason said he was deeply humbled by the response from the community but added his “beautiful staff” would be remaining at the chemist.

He plans to take some time off with his family, including his two grown-up children, before travelling overseas to the US.

“I’m going to read a book,” he said.



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