REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT
2011 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
CANADIAN ACADEMY OF THE HISTORY OF PHARMACY
It hardly seems like a year has passed since our last meeting in Calgary,
but here we are again looking back at even more history.
It is all around us! We have seen a number of jurisdictions enhance the
role of pharmacists. We have gone virtually full circle from the days when
Louis Hebert undoubtedly had countless occasions where he was visited
by individuals having an ailment for which he decided to compound an
appropriate preparation from the botanicals and other medicinals
available to him at the time. Pharmacists today are now able to prescribe
under certain circumstances and situations which I am sure will be
enhanced as time passes.
We are welcoming a new profession to the practice of pharmacy, that
being the pharmacy technician. I expect and believe that the role of the
pharmacy technician will be expanded with the further evolution of the
role of the pharmacist.
Pharmacists are now administering certain injectable products, and as
time passes history again will be made as the list of pharmaceutical
products in this category expands.
And of course we cannot forget where we are today when I say history is
all around us. There is significant history surrounding this beautiful city
of Montreal and this province of Quebec.
And I would be remiss not to mention the centennials of Pharmacy in
Alberta and Saskatchewan which are noteworthy milestones.
On a lighter note, we should not forget that there is the possibility of
history being made as the Vancouver Canucks compete for the Stanley
Cup. I wish the players and their fans good luck as they attempt to win
their first Stanley Cup. And how about the return of the NHL to Winnipeg
with the new Jets.
I am pleased to report that our website is functioning very well, is
pleasing to the eye, and is simple to navigate. But I am still anxious to
see a listing of pharmacy museums on the site at some point in the
Our membership numbers remain relatively strong but can always be
better. It should be an ongoing priority to attract a more youthful
following in order to maintain our strength in the future. Unfortunately it
is difficult in many organizations to attract these individuals.
But we must recognize the accomplishment of one of our members, Betty
Riddell, who is now attending here fifty-first CPhA conference.
Two major items crossed my desk as President this year.
The first was the opportunity to provide feedback to the curriculum
development blueprint for pharmacy educational programs. As
Demosthenes once said…”Small opportunities are often the beginning of
great enterprises”. I was happy for the opportunity!
Our message was clear….do not forget our roots! It is important to
incorporate the history of the profession into the learning activities of our
students. I encouraged our Secretary-Treasurer to have some of our
members review the report and convey our message from their points of
view as well.
The second item was a registration package for the 40th International
Congress for the History of Pharmacy to be held in Berlin, Germany in
September 2011. They meet every two years. I attempted to make
contact with the individual who had sent the letter but have heard
nothing further in reply. I have to admit I was not aware of this
organization whose website is www.histpharm.org (and includes
significant information) but did indeed hope to open communication with
them perhaps with the ultimate goal of forming a formal union of CAHP
with the International Congress which was established by statute in 1926.
Their membership includes 23 national societies primarily from Europe
but also includes Japan, Australia, and the United States. I believe it may
be a worthwhile venture to create a link with this organization in order to
increase our power to achieve our goals and assist us in finding historical
information of interest.
Once again I must acknowledge the efforts of our Secretary-Treasurer for
his ongoing efforts on behalf of the Academy. Thank you John! The
membership appreciates your untiring dedication.
It has been an honour to serve as your President for this second term.
But I will not be going away just yet. I will be available to assist in any
way necessary in the future.
The present is the living sum total of the entire past. The challenge of
history is to recover the past and introduce it to the present.
W. Gary Cavanagh