No one is sure when SWMPA began, but we think it was around the time of World War II. We know it was active in 1946 because Charles Shane, our historian, joined at that time. From then until the 1990’s meetings were held at Chicken Charlie’s which later became Damon’s at the corner of Westnedge and Whites Road in Kalamazoo. Frank Clark, of Parchment, was President. E. Turner was Vice President. Charles Shane was Secretary/Treasurer. D. Boudeman was a member of the Board along with George Jackman of Sturgis.
The Women’s Auxiliary was very active along with the men from the start through the 1970’s. They did puppet shows for the school kids about poison prevention and drug use. They also hosted coloring contests for poison prevention week.
During prohibition whiskey was prescribed by young graduate doctors (who had little income) for medicinal use for $1.00 each. This was in the Chicago area.
During the 1950’s the local pharmacies were very active with health promotions and the sugar cube polio program.
During the 1970’s Pharmacists gave presentations at different clubs, churches and schools on poison and drug abuse using the movie starring Sonny Bono and a shorter movie for the lower grades with Snoopy. These movies always required a skilled pharmacist who knew how the thread the projector.
Charles Shane was in the organization when Blue Cross/Blue Shield was starting up. He remembers how they came to a meeting and demanded that the pharmacists sign up then or be left out. None of the pharmacists signed up. They waned to review the contract before committing.
Over the last fifty years we have gone from about 20 independent pharmacies to about six in the area. The big box pharmacies have taken over.