Dame Lois retiring from pharmacy game

Dame Lois Muir has called time on her job at the Dunedin City Pharmacy, in Princes St. PHOTO:...
Dame Lois Muir has called time on her job at the Dunedin City Pharmacy, in Princes St. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
It started out as a way to earn a bit of spending money for the Netball World Cup in Fiji.

Twelve years later, New Zealand netball coach and administrator, and former representative netball and basketball player Dame Lois Muir has finally relinquished her job at the Dunedin City Pharmacy.

But the 84-year-old said those who thought she was now officially retired, should think again.

"I hate the word retirement. It's not in my vocabulary really.

"If you take the mirrors down around the house, you don't feel quite so old.

"It was just that the time was right for me to go.

"I needed a change of direction. I'm all care and no responsibility now, and I love it."

Dame Lois said it was only by chance that the job at the pharmacy was offered to her.

"I was shopping at a pharmacy owned by a friend of mine, and she said, `oh, I'm buying a new pharmacy - would you like to work'?

"It was at the time the 2007 World Netball Championships were going to be in Fiji. I wanted to make a bit of money to go to the champs.

"So I said `yes'. And that's how it started.

"It was a great opportunity for me to have a change of direction and go back to what I knew."

She said many people did not realise she started working in pharmacy shops when she was 15, and had worked in pharmacies around the city for most of her life, often while she was also playing and coaching high-level netball.

She said she had been very lucky throughout her sporting career that her employers had allowed her time off to pursue her commitments.

"I said as long as I can do my trips with the New Zealand team, I'll work for you when I'm here. And that was a great set-up."

Dame Lois said she never thought she would still be working at Dunedin City Pharmacy 12 years later.

She said she stayed so long because it had presented her with a challenge and an opportunity to use the experience and knowledge she had accumulated in the pharmacy/retail sector.

"It was a challenge to turn the place around. You know how businesses can stagnate a little bit. The opportunities to grow were there if you saw it.

"It was like a project. I needed it. It was just the right time for me in my life.

"I've loved it. It's like coaching. You've got to have a plan."

She said she also loved the camaraderie of the staff.

"Working with young people keeps you young. They really tone you up - you've got to be with it. It's been fun."

So, what does she have planned for her future?

"Something will come up, but I don't want to be too busy.

"I'm still involved in netball. They still like to wheel me out occasionally."

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