SMAIL, Annie Jean


UFS worker and dedicated Board Member


Annie Jean Lawrie was born in Ballarat on the morning of the 12th of June 1937, a day of snow, at Norwood Private Hospital in Webster Street, Ballarat.  As a child Annie lived with her family in Broken Hill, she moved to Ballarat with her mother and brother Graeme after her father enlisted in Adelaide with the Royal Engineers.

They lived in Ballarat with her grandmother Elizabeth and an aunt who worked for the Ballarat Acceptance Company, in a house that her grandfather had built on the corner of Dowling and Gregory Streets.  She attended the Winton Private Kindergarten in Burnbank Street which was run by the two Misses Johnston.  After a year at Wendouree Primary School, she attended Queens Girls Grammar School as a day student.  With the cessation of hostilities the family returned to Broken Hill after the war and were there for about a year before her father was demobbed in 1946 upon which he returned to North Broken Hill Ltd.  Annie was offered the option of attending boarding school in Victoria or remaining in Broken Hill for her education, which she did.

Annie was amongst fourteen final-year students undertaking Matriculation, the small classes providing almost individual tuition.  To undertake medicine Anne's preference was Adelaide but she was forced to travel to Sydney because Broken Hill, although remote to Sydney and much closer to Adelaide, had the NSW education system.

Annie began her four-year medical studies at the age of 16 but well into the course she became ill she then switched to pharmacy because with her medical studies being taken into account she could qualify in a year.  Initially, she boarded in a girls' hostel opposite the university and was later accepted into the women's college at Sydney University, being involved with the SRC and the Jazz Club during her studies.  Annie graduated in pharmacy in 1961, passing her registration exam on her first attempt.  She worked as a pharmacist in Sydney for twelve months, being there for seven years all told.  When her parents retired from Broken Hill and relocated to Geelong, Anne managed a pharmacy in Belmont and joined the Junior Victoria League and the National Trust.

Annie met Andrew Smail in Geelong with playing solo with friends.  They married at St David's Church in Geelong on the 22nd of May 1964 and moved into the gatehouse at Killarney, Warrenheip, which had been done up for them by friends.  Annie worked at Gear's Pharmacy at 415 Sturt Street for 8 or 9 years.  In the next 5 years, two children were born, Jamie and Sarah, Annie worked until two days before Jamie's birth and four days before Sarah's which was very understanding of her employers.  

Whilst working at Sturt Street Annie saw an advertisement for a pharmacist at the UFS Dispensaries.  Annie decided to move to UFS in Sturt Street.  She saw service at their other branches, the Main Road pharmacy moved into Bridge Street with UFS expanding to Wendouree and Sebastopol.  Annie later worked at 40 Bridge Street, then at Bridge Mall, and when offered the position of Manager she filled that role for 22 years.  In her time she saw 5 major renovations.  Annie retired in 1999 and took a job as a pharmacy consultant 3 days a week for 3 years before retiring again, only to join the Board of Directors of the UFS Pharmacy from 2002 - 2015 and she also fulfilled the role of Chairperson (2006).  

Annie has been a member of the Zonta Club of Ballarat since it was chartered in 1978, a member of the National Trust Committee, and a member and volunteer at the Art Gallery, the Arts Council which was formed by Connie Russo and Chaired by her husband Andrew in the late 60s and was secretary of the Organs of the Goldfields.  

Annie died on the 20th of July 2022 surrounded by her family.  She was cremated at the Ballarat New Cemetery and is back in the care of her loving family.


Search Records