40 years of valued service

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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A lot has changed about Parrsboro in the last 40 years, but not everything. Karna Blenkhorn is still behind the counter at Wrights Pharmasave.

It was 40 years ago last week that Blenkhorn was first hired as a part-time clerk at the original pre-expansion drug store, and she has been a Main Street mainstay ever since.

40 years of valued service

A lot has changed about Parrsboro in the last 40 years, but not everything. Karna Blenkhorn is still behind the counter at Wrights Pharmasave.

It was 40 years ago last week that Blenkhorn was first hired as a part-time clerk at the original pre-expansion drug store, and she has been a Main Street mainstay ever since.

I guess I like the job and I like meeting the public, she said.

First hired by Graydon Nickerson as a clerk in 1967, Blenkhorn has worked various jobs at the business ever since, including work in receiving and in office administration, but is now back working as a front-desk clerk.

During the past 40 years she has watched the business expand to much more than just a drug store, selling products such as gifts, clothing and electronics. She has also watched the town change dramatically during that time.

There have been a lot of closed businesses, said Blenkhorn. Its terrible, the way Main Street looks now. Back in the 1960s we had grocery stores, a fish market, and a lot of stores that are just not here anymore.

Over the years she has also seen many co-workers come and go. Perhaps none worked with her as long as Nickerson, who started there only one year before hiring her.

He recalled one memorable incident involving Blenkhorn several years ago when he was traveling on the West Coast.

I was in British Columbia and didnt have any credit cards, and I was trying to rent a car, he said. The rental company phoned the store to verify that I worked there. Karna answered the phone.

When the caller asked Blenkhorn if Nickerson worked there, she responded only that he was not there. When they repeated the question, she told them that he was away.

Eventually they got it out of her that I did work there, he said, laughing. I did get the car after awhile.

Fortieth anniversary or not, it was just another day at work for Blenkhorn, who said she plans to continue working there until she retires, which she has no thoughts of yet.

I think Ill stay, she said, smiling. Its kind of late to make a move now.

Geographic location: Parrsboro, West Coast, British Columbia

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