Wilkinson & Son Chemists Ltd



Before the arrival of permanent settlers to New Zealand, whaling stations were numerous, especially in the south. Archibald Anderson, who had arrived at Wellington in 1840 travelled south to OTAKOU, a whaling station 12 miles down harbour from the site which was later to be Dunedin with a stock of medical supplies.

When Dunedin was settled he opened for business in Rattray Street. The business was later taken over by John Sutton, who had arrived in Dunedin in 1849. In 1852 Sutton moved the business, now a pharmacy to Princes Street where he called it THE MEDICAL HALL.

In 1862 it was bought by Thomas M. Wilkinson.In 1888 Robert Wilkinson joined his father in the business and it became known as "WILKINSON & SON". A branch was opened at the north end of Dunedin in 1874 and continued until 1960. Robert's son, Robert Merrett Wilkinson was apprenticed to the pharmacy in 1915 and became the manager of the branch pharmacy in 1921. He later became a partner in the parent company and returned to MEDICAL HALL.

Trevor Hollebon joined them as an apprentice in 1941 and became a shareholder when the company WILKINSON & SON CHEMISTS LTD. was formed in 1951. Hollebon became principal of the company in 1955, and in 1976 Alan McMillan, who had also been apprenticed to Robert Merritt Wilkinson in 1952 joined the company with an equal shareholding.

The original branch pharmacy at north Dunedin is now seperately owned as Unichem Knox Pharmacy ltd. In 1995, Warren Leonard, Alan McMillan's Son-in-law became a shareholder in the company, and he bought out Alan's shares in the early 2000s and is now the sole owner

Both Alan McMillan and Warren Leonard have, in the past been Branch Chairperson of the Otago Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (inc). In addition, Alan McMillan was honoured with a Fellowship award from the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand, and Warren Leonard became a Director of the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand for some four years before being voted Vice President of the Guild. In October 2014 Warren sold the physical pharmacy and its assets to Antidote, while retaining ownership of Wilkinson & Son Chemists Ltd and it's formulae.

It can be seen by the above that there is not only a direct and continuous line of association of the proprietors of the pharmacy, making it the oldest established pharmacy in New Zealand, but also that Wilkinson & Son Chemists Ltd have a very long association with Dunedin and the province of Otago. We are well known and respected and you can be assured that your enquiries will be dealt with honestly, expeditiously and professionally.

Our Mission


If something is illegal, immoral or unethical, we will NOT do it.

Privacy Policy: In accordance with New Zealand laws, the only information we will retain will be that which is required for accounting and health legislation purposes. We do not and will not sell, give or otherwise provide any information of any sort about our customers to any person, company or organisation, except when required by New Zealand law, and then ONLY when an official request has been made by a New Zealand Government agency. We have no desire to maintain a large database of customers - hence we will not use "negative approvals" (e.g. - the fine print often found on documents and websites that require a person to indicate that they do not wish to receive e-mails, letters, information etc., from partner sites or associated companies). We wish to make visiting our site as pleasant and easy as visiting our physical Pharmacy.