Our rich history began in 1872 when Bendigo UFS Dispensary opened on December 1, 1872 in McCrae Street, Bendigo with a membership of 1,000 during the gold rush of Central Victoria. It was formed by a collaborative commitment of many Bendigo lodges, orders and friendly societies, providing medicines and medical guidance to only members, their wives and children.
In June 1989, a legal dispute with the Pharmacy Board arose due to us selling goods to the general public, not just members. After a prolonged debate, the case was dismissed, but we ceased public sales.
This is no longer the case, initially exclusive to members, we now welcome everyone at Bendigo UFS.
Epidemics of the late 1890’s
In the early days, lard, sugar and honey made up as much sales as drugs. During the late 1890’s, 120 prescriptions were dispensed daily, reflecting the severe measles and influenza epidemics which had hit the city.
The first of the relocations in the CBD
In the early 1950’s, the dispensary moved from the Niagara Hotel to 68 Pall Mall. In the mid 1960’s the Board established a dental centre and the dispensary (pharmacy) expanded into View Street. After 15 years at this location the dispensary moved to King Street.
When two pharmacies became four
Relocation from Pall Mall to Corner of View and Barnard Streets operating Bendigo’s first and only 24/7 pharmacy and drive thru, expansion into Strathfieldsaye and Maiden Gully, a day spa and optometry the business grew to over 120 employees.
Celebrating 150 years of commitment to the community and it’s health and wellbeing
Bendigo UFS had a name change and went back to it’s prior name in the 1990’s and providing over $800,000 in community contributions. The pharmacy group celebrated 150 years in 2023 and is continuing to grow with now being a $28mil business with a continued commitment to it’s purpose, to support the health and wellbeing of the community.