By George! 89-year-old reckons it’s time to retire

George Mann is going to take a well-earned retirement. Photos Farida Master

George Mann says he has been a drug runner for the last 20 years and had lots of fun doing it.

From being the only person that people have seen or talked to for days, to following people’s precise instructions and leaving the parcel in a box behind a tree in the backyard, 89-year-old George says delivering medication to rest homes and private homes for Unichem Main Street Pharmacy, Howick, has been the best job he’s had in his life.

George with Unichem Main Street Pharmacy Howick staff, family and friends at the send off.

“It was not only about delivering medication to the elderly in the sunshine and in the rain, but there were times George did little things for them like helping them hang the washing and fixing a light bulb,” said pharmacy co-owner, Steven Tong at the send-off hosted by staff, friends and family at the pharmacy on Sunday afternoon.

Thanking George for his long service, Steven said everyone loved him.
“There were times he would return with crumbs on his face as some of the clients would leave cookies behind for him and once he returned with a bottle of wine. People appreciated having him around,” he said at the farewell organised by retail manager Anne Coley.

Visibly moved, by the words and a plaque presented by staff, George told the Times that he never ever wanted to retire.

However he suffered a stroke three weeks ago and is not allowed to drive for a year.

“It’s caused a bit of confusion in my brain and I sometimes find it difficult to read and find the right words,” he says.

Steven Tong (left) and Tony Tustin, co-owners of Unichem Main Street Pharmacy Howick, thank 89-year-old George Mann for his long service.

An emotional Katrina Reddy, George’s daughter, who was present at the send-off with her husband Peter, thanked the Unichem staff for their patience and allowing George to work for so long.

Plenty of stories about the jolly good fellow were regaled as everyone raised a toast to

George for his long and dedicated service to the pharmacy and the community.
“You are a legend in Howick,” they said.