Here's another of those little buildings that no-one notices. This one is in George St at the Turbot St intersection, and the narrow construction says, at the top, "BAFS Dispensary". Underneath that are two dates: 1885 and 1915.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)
As Australia developed, there sprang up various unions, co-operatives and friendly societies that were formed to allow groups of individuals to pool resources to help each other. The Brisbane Associated Friendly Society was one such group. They formed in Brisbane in 1885, and were prominent in health care for the next sixty years or so. The foundation stone of this building was laid in 1915, and it opened in 1916 as the main dispensary and their first owned premises. Membership was then 13,000 and the cost of having the building constructed was raised by a debenture issue. The building was designed by Lange Powell (the Ann St Masonic Temple and St Martin's House, also in Ann St are other examples of his work) and erected for just over £11,000. As well as being a dispensing pharmacy, this building acted as the head office of the group and also provided facilities for meetings of other lodges and friendly societies.
This building is still the head office of the group of Friendly Societies, now operating as Friendly Care Chemists. It seems that they have about eight Queensland locations, and still provide discounted services to members. Good on them!
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