JAS J Delahunty Senior

James J. Delahunty (1906 - 1990) Chemist

James J. Delahunty, widely known as "Jas J." and "Dela” to his friends, was born in the Queen's Arms Hotel, Tenerrife on the 6th June 1906, the eldest of a family of five.
His primary schooling was at St. James' College and then St. Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace; secondary schooling at St. Joseph's Nudgee College. Dela resided at St. Leo's College then on Wickham Terrace for 11 years as he was orphaned at age 15. At Nudgee, Dela represented the school in the First XIII Rugby League, First IV Tennis and First XI Cricket, as well as representing the school in Swimming and Athletics.
On leaving school, Dela was an apprentice to a number of pharmacists at W H Green Chemist & Druggist, Queen Street, Brisbane City. At the end of his final year of his course at the old Pharmacy College in William Street he won the J. C. Minnis Gold Medal for Metria Medica (Pharmacognacy). As an active student leader Dela was co-editor of their magazine "The Pill."
During the depression, his father's estate purchased a run-down chemist on the corner of Queen and Wharf Street, Brisbane on the 13th July 1932, known as the "Custom House” Chemist. With Queensland Country Life Rural Newspaper next door, he developed a large mail order business, as then there were few chemists in country Queensland. He opened a second Chemist in the "Shopping Block” in March 1936 at 144 Queen Street, Brisbane. Both Chemists thrived during WWII. Dela transferred in March 1960 to the Brisbane Arcade from which he retired in 1978. With his good sense of smell he became known as the "nose" and was the leading authority on fragrance in Queensland.
With his soft gentlemanly approach and constructive advice, he devoted much of his spare time to help develop newly emerging pharmacy professional bodies as well as liaising with the kindred health professionals.
  • 1932-80 Pharmacy Guild of Australia – Qld State Branch Committee. Nationally marketed and promoted magazines "Idle Moments” to the public and "We the Guild" to pharmacists.
  • Developed "Chemist Only" policies with drug companies.
  • 1938-39 President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Queensland.
  • 1939 Life Member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Queensland.
  • 1952 Chairman of Gilseal Company, State and Federal (now Gold Cross) selling jelly beans,
    baby rusks , soap, dyes, pool chemicals etc.
  • 1952 Official Australian Guild Delegate to FIP in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
  • 1963-64 President of the Pharmaceutical Association of Australia (First Queenslande r ).
  • 1969 Life Member of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
  • 1977 Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal for Service to Pharmacy Profession.
  • 1981 Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Queensland.
  • 1982 Honorary Life Member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Queensland.
Dela had many other sporting and community interests. His greatest was with rowing, both with the Commercial Rowing Club and more particularly as an administrator in Queensland and Australia
  • 1935-50 Chairman of the Queensland Rowing Council and Chairman of The Australia Rowing Council for 3yrs.
  • Managed winning Queensland King's Cup 1st VIII in 1939.
  • ABC's Rowing broadcaster.
  • 1937-38 President of St. Leo's Old Boys Association.
  • 1948-49 President of Nudgee Old Boys Association. Life Member.
Dela was married on the 2nd January 1937 to Kathleen P. Murphy (licensee of the Grosvenor Hotel, Brisbane City). They had four children. Eldest Jennifer married to pharmacist Terry G. Parer, St. George, QLD. Alice Anne Bagster - pharmacist, Sydney. John, James - pharmacist, married to pharmacist, Carmel. Their daughter Bridget is a third generation pharmacist.

(Document Date May 2012)