Bill Carson had 'the smallest chemist with the biggest stock', a legacy which has now been written into history with the Paekākāriki Station Museum creating a space dedicated to sharing his story.
Owning what was believed to be the only chemist from Plimmerton to Levin for many years, Bill Carson became a deeply loved and respected member of the community, running his chemist on Beach Rd, Paekākāriki, from the 1930s until closing shop in 1981.
"You could go into the shop, ask for anything and he would have it," said Bride Coe who first moved to Paekākāriki in 1953.
"He trained as a doctor pre-war, but changed direction and became a chemist. So he had a lot of knowledge.
"People would go to him before they went to the doctor and sometimes they would get scripts from the doctor and he would suggest something else like steam your head, gargle salt or something.
"He was very much a proponent of cold water and hot water to cure most ills and he was often right."
Carson was born and educated in Dunedin where he completed training as a chemist.
Once qualified, he moved to Wellington working in two pharmacies before moving to Paekākāriki in the late 1920s.
He opened the first chemist in the village in the 1930s next to the Holtom's Building.
"He was renowned for doing things like shutting up the shop if a kid was sick, jumping on his bike and delivering it to him.
"He was deeply loved by the community because of that."
With no doctor living in the village in the war years, Carson was the closest the village had, and was a first responder of sorts, being called to emergencies and was often called on to help deliver babies.
Carson would jump on his bicycle and always go the next mile, literally.
"He was always there and he had everything we needed."
Old order forms in the museum show order lists featuring many things such as hair dye, cresolene lamps and a whole host of medical and non-medical related products.
However Carson did not need to promote his products and medicines, as a family and community-minded man he would lean towards suggesting home-sourced remedies.
However, if you insisted on some specific items he would always have it, Caryl Hamer recalls in a Paekākāriki Playcentre recollection.
"As Paekākāriki parents would attest, he was well known for being able to find the most obscure item, sometimes delving through the unpacked boxes to ferret it out."
With no chemist in Plimmerton or Paraparaumu, for many years Carson was the only chemist on the coast with the next nearest being in Levin.
Residents in Plimmerton used to give their prescriptions to the guards on the passenger trains who would deliver them to Carson to fill.
He would then give the filled prescriptions to the guards who would return them via train to the residents.
The same would happen for people in Paraparaumu where the New Zealand Railway bus drivers would bring the prescriptions down to Carson who would fill them and send them back again.
"He was a major figure and influence in the community," said Dave Johnson from the Paekākāriki Station Museum who put together the collection.
"He needs to be remembered well for what he did for the whole community.
"And it wasn't just Paekākāriki but down to Plimmerton and north as well."
The end of an era came in 1981 when Carson retired and shut up shop after a fall from his bicycle and further ill health forced him to close.
An old newspaper from November 1981 said, "After 53 years of unexcelled service to the community Bill has reluctantly drawn for the last time the shutters of his Paekākāriki dispensary which has been known to vie for the title of the 'Ninth Wonder of the World'."
"I never heard anyone say a bad word about him," Bride said.
To find out more about Paekākāriki's much loved chemist visit the Paekākāriki Station Museum to read more and see pictures and artefacts from Bill Carson and his chemist.