Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 7, May 1967
The passing of Mr Ernest Archibald Clark (Ernie) a well known citizen of Waihi marks the end of an era of the Family Chemist. Born at Katikati in 1884 he was the second son of Archibald Hugh Clark who had a boarding House in Katikati during the coaching days, moved to Waihi in 1900, and in 1902 established A.H. Clark's Buildings, (now Waihi Hardware) as a General Store and Fruit Shop, the family living above the shops. Ernie, his brother, Norman and sister Eva were First Day pupils at the Waihi Central School.
After serving his Apprenticeship with Mr Wm. Robins, for four years, receiving 2/6 a week as wages and qualifying when he was 21 years Mr Clark opened his own Chemist Shop in 1906, first approx. where GAMBLES Ltd. are in Rosemont Road then moving to Newdicks Building when it was erected in Seddon Street. In 1910 he went to America and England to further his studies, while his brother Jim, managed the business. In 1911 he married Evelyn Alberta Adams of Tauranga. During the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918 when the whole town of Waihi was stricken, he did sterling work and for a time was the only responsible person available for assistance with medicines as all Doctors and Chemists were also affected by the 'flu.
In the early days, Mr Clark was a great friend and help to the Maoris of the District especially at Whangamata and Opoutere where he rode on horseback administering to the sick. During his lifetime he dispensed for the Waihi Hospital and Resident Doctors among them being: Drs. Claridge, Slater, Guinness, Deck, Craig, Carrick Robertson, Frazer-Hurst, Galligan, T.C. Frazer, J.M. Hyde, T.G. Short, McMurray Cole, F.G. Barrowclough, and L.R. Hetherington. He played an important part in Waihi's development, was a Councillor in 1917-1919, and was a keen follower of sport, especially Athletics, Rugby Football and Bowls. He was interested in Art, literature and was an ardent reader. During his earlier days he studied Greek Mythology and being a great admirer of the writings of John Ruskin he named his two sons; Ruskin and Homer.
During the early Mining days of Waihi Mr Clark was so concerned with the health of the Miners he formulated many Remedies to help them. Perhaps the best known was his MINERS COUGH MIXTURE which became widely known throughout New Zealand. He also did wonderful work as a Veterinary Chemist, helping many a farmer with their stock. Well respected and unassuming with his pleasant, reassuring, and sympathetic understanding he endeared himself and gave so unselfishly and willingly, his help and knowledge to all who knew him. He will be remembered for his cleverness, kindly nature, gentlemanly ways and his willingness to help others at all times.
He was a regular attender of Presbyterian Church responsible for starting the first Bible Class with his cousin Mr Hugh Clark (Joker) and Mr Albert Keller. Mr Clark is survived by his wife, 2 sons and 1 daughter who carry on the family business now in Rosemont Road; and three Grandchildren.
Our sympathy to Miss Freda Clark who is a most valued member of the Waihi H.S. [Historical Society – E] and continues to be its foundation Treasurer.