Chemist JC Minnis arrived in Ipswich Queensland, Australia from the outback town of Blackall around 1930. Whilst in Blackall, JC performed a range of necessary services to the community, including optometry, dentistry and assisted with anesthetics at the local hospital.
In 1939 through to 1949, JC Minnis was the Mayor of the City of Ipswich. His medical expertise was quickly recognised and he was constantly called upon for medical advice. Many of his ‘patients’, mostly infants, suffered from colic and wind complaints, diarrhea, boils, colds and flu. JC decided to mix his own remedies for these common complaints – such as diarrhea mixture, Indian Cerate – drawing ointment for boils, Red Acid Cure for coughs and many others.
JC Minnis’ Baby Colic Relief Medicine becomes popular
By far – the most sought after and popular remedy was Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid; JC Minnis’ cure for infants with colic and wind. Infants’ Friend went on to be sold through Minnis Pharmacy in downtown Ipswich – until about 1950.
At that time, a travelling sales representative from the pharmaceutical warehouse called on his rounds to JC and complained about a bad night he had just had – with a child with wind and colic. JC gave the sales representative a bottle of Infants’ Friend for baby colic relief to take home – apparently it worked wonders and so much so, that the sales representative talked JC into stocking Infants’ Friend in his company’s warehouse. This led to Infants’ Friend being available to all of Queensland, but still hand made in JC Minnis’ Pharmacy.
JC Minnis died in 1954 – but the tradition lived on, with Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid still being produced in the continuing Minnis Pharmacy.
The number of enquiries increased dramatically due to personal recommendations from mother to daughter and so on. Because of the health regulations of the time – Infants’ Friend could only be sold in Queensland, and this continued until 1985. During this year, a major fire in Ipswich City wiped out a large part of the Central Business District – but Minnis Pharmacy survived. Because of the major construction works in the city heart – Minnis Pharmacy was sold by JC Minnis’ daughter – the sole survivor of the immediate family.
Also in 1985, Geoff Price – a loyal and trusted pharmacy assistant with Minnis Pharmacy for many years was given the formula for the popular baby colic relief medicine – under agreement with the Minnis Family Trust. Geoff then had the product manufactured under approved laboratory conditions and continued to distribute Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid throughout Queensland – still heavily in demand.
During the late 80’s, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) was in the process of establishment, and all medicines etc. were required to be registered under this government authority. Once TGA registered – this then allowed Geoff to distribute Infants’ Friend throughout all of Australia. Because of the transient population, especially Air Force personnel from Amberley airbase in Ipswich, Infants’ Friend became in great demand on the interstate chemist’s shelves, and a household name in all states of Australia.
Infants’ Friend has gone from strength to strength – but the product remains the same. In 2003, another chapter in the long history of Infants’ Friend saw Geoff Price selling his beloved lifetime pursuit of Infants’ Friend, to a friend of his – Neil McPhillips, who partnered with local accountant, Gregory Walsh – to ensure the Infants’ Friend tradition continued to remain in Ipswich – servicing Australia. At the time, Neil was responsible for economic development of the city and was adamant that an important part of Ipswich’s history remains and live on.
In 2012 – Infants’ Friend developed a new product called Infants’ Friend Comfy Baby Cream with Aloe Vera. This product is a natural, nappy rash cream utilising Aloe Vera as the main ‘rash soothing’ ingredient. The cream was developed in response to customer’s queries wanting a product for baby’s bottom, as good as the Oral Liquid as a baby colic relief. The Comfy Baby Cream is now being distributed Australia-wide and looks like being just as popular.
Infants’ Friend products are professional medicines and creams, although prescription is not required. A number of pediatricians throughout Australia are actually recommending Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid to nursing mothers with infants suffering from colic and wind and baby clinic market research has resulted in extremely positive feedback for the Comfy Baby Cream.
Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid contains no scheduled drugs, and is basically a mixture of healthy aromatic and carminative oils and antacids. This means Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid is extremely well tolerated, and given the small dosages required, is great value for money – the same it was when JC Minnis first started making it in the main street of Ipswich – 80 years ago.
Infants’ Friend Comfy Baby Cream with Aloe Vera is a Barrier Cream, which means it sits on top of the skin and disperses very quickly. The cream is placed at the “top of the range” of Nappy Rash Creams with its most active ingredients being Aloe Vera, Zinc and Lanolin. This also means that only small amounts of the cream need to be used to be effective and it is the intention that Comfy Baby will be the nappy rash cream of choice for nursing parents – alongside Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid – the trusted friend.