WELL-KNOWN Musselburgh pharmacist Vishnu Chetty retired this week after more than 40 years of serving the local community’s health needs.

As he is currently shielding due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he was sad not to be able to say a fond farewell to his many customers.

Eskside Pharmacy has been sold to a new owner and will continue to provide pharmaceutical care for local people.

Mr Chetty said: “It’s been an immense pleasure to have served the people of Musselburgh and surrounding areas for the last 41 years. The loyalty and support of the community has been humbling and greatly appreciated.

“I’m also grateful for the strong working relationships I’ve had with the surgeries and GPs.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have had such fantastic, hard-working and cheerful staff through all the years and I can’t thank them enough for all they have done.

“The current circumstances of Covid-19 have meant that I haven’t been able to say farewells to people in person, which is of great regret. My thoughts will always be with you all and I will still be a regular face up and down High Street.

“I’m in no doubt the new owners will continue high standards of pharmaceutical care.”

Mr Chetty, 69, started at Eskside Pharmacy on High Street in 1979, initially as the manager, before buying the business in 1983.

Originally from South Africa, he came to Scotland to study in Edinburgh in the 1970s – when apartheid wouldn’t allow him to study for the profession in South Africa.

As manager of the local pharmacy, he enjoyed the community spirit in Musselburgh and jumped at the chance of establishing and developing the pharmacy.

The overriding memory he will take with him is the “positive rapport” he has developed with the patients and the people of Musselburgh. He said serving the health and wellbeing of the community had been his number one priority and he always felt that was appreciated by his customers and wider community.

He recalled one of his most special memories, when his daughter was in hospital with meningitis and he found out that every church in Musselburgh had said a prayer for her recovery.

Just a few months ago, when he was piercing the ears of a girl at the shop, her grandmother told him he had pierced her ears too as well as her daughter’s ears, making this the third generation of the same family he had served.

He joked that he decided that might be his cue to retire.

Mr Chetty, who lives in Longniddry, said Musselburgh had always had a “thriving High Street”, but it had been challenging to maintain a wide range of businesses to serve the community. He hoped High Street would always remain at the heart of the community.

Mr Chetty, who has three children and four grandchildren, one of whom was born just two weeks ago, sadly lost his wife Moira two years ago. He said he was “very grateful” for the support of the community during her illness and when she passed away.

In his retirement, he is looking forward to playing golf, tending his garden and travelling, as well as spending time with his grandchildren. He is also hoping to spend time with family in South Africa.