Taking Care of Banff SINCE 1923
IN Banff, Alberta
The Gourlay’s Pharmacy Team
Peter originally came to Banff as a student to work for Frank Gourlay in the original “Gourlay’s King Edward Drug Store” in 1986. Peter graduated from UAlberta in 1987 with a BSc. Pharm and in 1989, he and his university classmate, Randy, bought the store from Frank. Peter claims he has been part of the Gourlay’s Team for 35 years, and 6 weeks…but who’s counting! Peter is a familiar face to all of his local clients and he loves being able to greet them by name, help them with their health and wellness needs and have a quick chat as they come in the store. When he is not working you will find him making good memories enjoying time with family and friends, playing oldtimers hockey, or out on a hiking trail. One skill he reports having that some may not know about is that he caught a football, once.
Randy also graduated from UAlberta with a BSc. Pharm in 1987 and began working with Gourlay’s Pharmacy Banff in 1989 when he and Peter purchased the store from Frank Gourlay, and moved the location from Banff Avenue to the newly built, Wolf and Bear Mall. He states he has been part of the Gourlay’s Team for “33 Awesome Years”. Randy enjoys being able to help his community clients with their various health needs, and always has a word of encouragement to add to the prescription. His personal motto or saying is “Have a Golden Day!”, and he means it! When he’s not working you will find him with friends and family, fishing, boating, or riding his
Melissa has a BSc. Pharm in 2013 from Curtin University in Perth, Austrailia and has worked with the Gourlay’s Team for a total of 2 years, although one of those years has been on maternity leave. She especially loves travel medicine, hearing about all the places in the world
people are exploring, and helping them to stay healthy. Mellissa is described as outgoing, organized and just happy. Her personal motto is “work hard and play harder”. When she is not working you will find her with her two young children and husband. She loves how kids bring joy and excitement to whatever they do. Melissa has a side hustle using her sewing skills and also has a special talent for whistling. (although she typically stops part way through the tune).
Preston graduated from UAlberta in 2021 with a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) and a MBA. He
began working with the Gourlay’s Team as a pharmacist in 2021, but claims he has worked at
the store on and off since he was 8 years old. (rumor has it he was once paid in chocolate bars). Preston is described as outgoing, positive and passionate. His motto is to spend time doing the
things that make you feel most like you! When he is not working he is happiest spending time with friends and family, preferably outside enjoying our beautiful mountain town. He denies
any special skills or talents and states with a chuckle: “what you see is what you get!”.
Morgan graduated from UAlberta with a BSc. Pharm degree in 2018. He is a brand new addition to the Gourlay’s team and is excited for the opportunity to come to work with the community in Banff. The thing Morgan loves most about being a pharmacist is getting to meet so many great people and helping them with their health needs. Between reviewing medication treatments, researching new drugs or treatment regimens or updating vaccines, he loves the new learning and this always keeps him interested at work. When not working he is happiest skiing, golfing, biking and hanging out with friends and family.
Scott, also a UAlberta graduate (1999) with a BSc. Pharm joined the Gourlay’s Team in 2021 and feels like a new puppy excited to be with his new family. Scott loves travelling and has a special interest in providing travel medicine services to our local clients. He also really enjoys being involved with mentoring students having worked as a lab instructor early in his career. Scott is
described as eccentric, humorous, and hardworking. His motto is “Work to live, don’t live to work”. When not working, Scott is happiest when he is hiking, snowboarding, cooking, or watching movies. He also participates in what he calls “Standard Bow Valley activities” of chasing rabbits, and tickling bears.
Brandi is a Registered Pharmacy Technician who has been working with the Gourlay’s Team for 31 years. Brandi initially worked at the store when she was a student at Banff Community High School. Her particular interest is improving the transition of care between the hospital and home and helping patients become more compliant with the use of their medications. Brandi is described as dedicated, collaborative, and genuine. She loves the quote from Walt Disney, “It’s
kind of fun to do the impossible.” When not working, Brandi is happiest gardening, crafting,
doing hand embroidery and being outdoors.
Laura graduated with a Pharmacy Technician Diploma from Fanshawe College in 2011. She has worked with the Gourlay’s Team since 2014 and is typically found at the computer filling
prescriptions. She enjoys creating a safe space for people at the store, and helping them to the
best of her ability. When Laura is not working you will find her walking her dogs, riding her horse and spending time outside. If you are having any difficulty remembering the lyrics to a song, ask Laura. She knows most words of most songs…though she admits it feels like a pretty useless skill.
Louise has a BSc. Nursing, is trained in Midwifery and Community and Industrial Health. She loves learning on a daily basis and is thankful for opportunities to learn, grow and serve. Louise works part time with the Gourlay’s Team but makes a big impact supporting her co-workers and helping to provide customers with a positive experience in the store. Louise has a plethora of experience in various areas of healthcare including working with mental and emotional health, suicide prevention, developing programs focused on men’s health in the Oil and Gas sector and as part of the newborn health screening program. Louise is described as people loving, thankful and joyful, and she brings these attributes to all with whom she interacts. When not working she loves being with family, including two grandchildren, and she loves to go hiking.
Gourlay’s Pharmacy has been part of the Banff community since 1923
Our legacy began when Hugh Gourlay, who had originally trained at the University of Toronto and graduated with a degree in Pharmacy in 1898, made Banff his home in 1916. After working in Ontario and in Vancouver for a time, he was licensed as an Alberta Pharmacist on March 14, 1919 and was initially employed by Byron Harmon to operate the Harmony Drug Store. On September 19, 1923 Hugh Gourlay opened his own business “King Edward Drug Store, H.A. Gourlay, Chemist and Druggist”.
Hugh’s eldest son Frank served in the Navy during the 2nd World War, and was interested in all things mechanical. His intentions were to pursue a career in engineering or a related field. His father’s sudden death in 1954 changed his plans as Frank took over management of the Gourlay’s King Edward Drug Store, hiring professional Pharmacists.
A few years later, one of those hired pharmacists was Peter Eshenko, a graduate of the University of Alberta. Peter had come to Banff in 1986 as a student pharmacist and fell in love with this active mountain community. After completing his degree in 1987, Frank recruited Peter to return to King Edward Drug Store as a professional pharmacist. Not long after, Peter convinced his classmate and good friend Randy McLean to join him in Banff, and in January 1989, Frank sold the pharmacy part of the business to Peter Eshenko and Randy McLean. Peter and Randy moved the pharmacy into the newly constructed “Wolf and Bear Mall” on Wolf Street, operating it there until 2009 when they moved the store to its current location on Bear Street. Peter and Randy both raised families in Banff and remain active working in the Pharmacy. They have however handed off many of the clinical duties to the next generation of pharmacists, recently including Peter’s son Preston. Randy’s daughter Carly also works doing some of the bookkeeping for the store.
Gourlay’s Pharmacy has a history of deep involvement in the Banff Community. As very accessible healthcare providers, our pharmacists and staff have provided individualized and comprehensive care to community members, local and international visitors over time, often far beyond the usual call of duty. Gourlay’s Banff Pharmacy will celebrate its’ 100th year anniversary in September 2023.