Cherished pharmacist and hotelier

20:49, Jan 15 2013
Dorothy Donald obituary
Dorothy Donald was an innovative businesswoman who was known for helping others.

More women do pharmacy today but when Southlander Dorothy Duthie graduated at Otago in 1975 she was one of a handful of women, albeit followed the next year by her sister Sue and then a girl cousin or two.

She had chosen a career she loved, thriving on her involvement in it, still with energy and zest for loads of other interests from pub-keeping to golf and bridge.

She proved to be a clever and innovative businesswoman.

Her city pharmacy, Sylvan Bank, bought with her husband Quinton Donald in the mid-1980s, became a leader in the development of a giftware sideline with themes for the lot from Valentine's Day to birthdays, christenings, weddings and Christmas.

When the couple took over the Waiau Hotel from David McNay a decade ago it was with the firm intention of not letting standards slip.

With the help of a 12-strong staff and Dorothy's daughter, Brenda Duthie, they have done that.


The Tuatapere hotel is at the centre of fishing-tramping tourism and has seasonal overseas visitors who return time and time again. Mrs Donald would spend two weeks at her pharmacy in Yarrow St, then leave that in the hands of a locum, often Pat Quill, and spend two weeks at the pub, getting everything sorted at each place before moving to the other.

Pharmacy friend and colleague Mr Quill said the loss of Dorothy Donald at just 60 was sad.

She had brought so much energy and cheer to everyone.

She gave her time and talent to help others from charity dinner fundraisers for hospice to support for the Tuatapere St John association.

Born the second of four children she grew up on the Duthie family farm at Lochiel and a love of the country stayed with her all her days.

The Waimatuku Pipe Band formed a guard of honour as she was laid to rest in a family plot at the Forest Hill cemetery.

She is survived by her husband, Quinton Donald, her only child, Brenda Duthie, and mourned also by a host of former colleagues, friends, staff members she cared for as family, and people all over Southland who met her over the years as she manned other pharmacies, a locum for those in need.

The Southland Times