Friendly societies were clubs for working people, set up to help members in times of illness and death. Members paid a regular fee which entitled them to free medical care and subsidised medicines, before the state funded or covered these costs from the late 1930s.
Friendly societies banded together to run pharmacies, such as this one in Wellington's Courtenay Place, probably photographed in the 1920s. It is still operating on the same street (though in a different building) in 2015.
Alexander Turnbull Library, R. P. Moore Collection. Reference: PA6-017. Photograph by Robert Percy Moore
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Source: Michael Belgrave. 'Primary health care - Improving access to health care, 1900s–1970s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 18-May-15URL: http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/zoomify/31522/united-friendly-societies-dispensary