Our History

Phoenix Lights up


Preparing forthe millennium


The first generation

2000 - 2019

The new millennium

1940 - 1959

The second generation

1960 - 1979

The third generation

Late 1800's

Phoenix Building on corner of Queen and Reid Streets Hamilton, Bermuda purchased by a Mr. Grantham.


The Phoenix Drug Store was established and opened on November 5th, 1902. It was the first business house to be illuminated by electricity; this was generated by its own plant on the premises. That night the verandahs were ablaze with light -- a strange spectacle in those days of gas and oil illumination. People gathered from miles around to witness what was thought to be another Guy Fawkes display.


The Bermuda Drug Company was formed with The Phoenix as the flagship of the budding retail business. Principal shareholders being Laurion Conway Trott, Howard Mercer and William James Young.


The Phoenix became part of the US Rexall Drug Store family. This was surely one of the first franchises in Bermuda.

1880's - 1919

Phoenix lights up

1980 - 1999

Preparing for the millennium

The first generation

2000 - 2019

The new millennium

1940 - 1959

The second generation

1960 - 1979

The third generation


The Bermuda Drug Company Ltd. was formally incorporated into a limited liability company under Bermuda Law and the first Board of Directors was elected on October 30th 1922 and they were

       Laurion Conway Trott
       William James Young
       Howard C. Mercer
       Francis Aline Young
       Mabel T. Mercer
       Frances Jauncey Freeland Trott
       Miss. N. T. Smith was re-elected auditor.

Around 1922

Bermuda Drug Company opens a toy store called Bon Marche, later to be renamed The Annex.


The Famous Phoenix Clock purchased for the sum of five hundred pounds from Duncan McColl Doe, a jeweler from Hamilton. The bill of sale also included numerous other shop fittings. Prior to this purchase the clock had resided on Front Street and on the top of Queen Street.


John Gibson Young graduates from the Albany College of Pharmacy as a pharmacist and returns to Bermuda to start working as a Pharmacist at the Phoenix Drug Store.


Bermuda General Agency (developed as the wholesale arm of the business) sets up business in a building on the corner of Church and Parliament Streets


John Gibson Young and Reid Conway Trott join the Bermuda Drug Company Ltd. Board and the three ladies retired. Frank Titshall was appointed auditor.


On October 14th 1937, John Gibson Young, son of founder William James Young, marries Elsie Freeland Trott, daughter of founder, Laurion Conway Trott.


Gibson Ward Young born on December 8th 1938


World War II begins. John Gibson Young enters Bermuda Voluntary Rifle Corp finishes as adjutant with the rank of Captain.

1880's - 1919

The first generation

2000 - 2019

The new millennium

1920 - 1939

Phoenix lights up

1980 - 1999

Preparing for the millennium

The second

1960 - 1979

The third generation


William James Young and Laurion Conway Trott appointed as joint managers of the company. Reid Trott Young born on December 18th 1940.


Benoni Mello and Leon N. Perenchief joined the Board as the number of directors was raised to seven and a fifty-percent stock dividend was declared.


Ewing Trott's services not required after May 31st 1946.

R. Conway Mayor Trott and Laurion Conway Trott resign as employess on June 30th 1946. William James Young resigns August 31st 1946. Howard Mercer resigns as mediator as of August 31st 1946 and is paid the sum of twenty-five pounds. All three individuals paid the sum of seventy-five pounds for a period of two years. Laurion Conway Trott and William James Young remain as directors. John Gibson Young is made General Manager.

L. Mercer Ward replaced Leon N. Perenchief on the Board and Mr. F. W. Williams was appointed auditor.

Wartime supplies commission approached with a review to revising markup percentage.


Horace Ward joined the Board in place of Mr. Benoni Mello. Chemists hired at one thousand pounds per annum.

Reid Hall sold to the Trott Family at a price of sixty thousand pounds by a debenture issue at 4% per annum. Sale of Phoenix Building by H. A. & E. Smiths for sixty-two thousand and fifty pounds rejected.


Mr. John Gibson Young takes over as General Manager when his father "W.J." and colleagues, L.C. Trott and H. Mercer retire from active participation in the company. At this time the business consists of four branches.

Mr. Benoni Mello rejoined the Board replacing R. Conway Trott.


Phoenix Drug Store celebrates its golden anniversary -- offers Velvet ice cream free with every purchase of 10 shillings.


Princess Elizabeth is crowned Queen Elizabeth II following the death of King George VI.

Howard C. Mercer resigns due to ill health and Mr. Henry J. Tucker elected.

The Patio -- Paget purchased from John Ferreira for the sum of two thousand pounds and Paget Pharmacy officially opens.


Heyl's Building (corner of Queen and Front Streets - now the Irish Linen Shop) purchased for thirthy-eight thousand five hundred dollars.


John Gibson Young becomes President of Bermuda Drug Company


William James Young dies of a massive heart attack and John Gibson Young becomes chairman of the Bermuda Drug Company Ltd.


Benoni Mello resigns from The Phoenix as an employee and as a Director of the Company.


Devon Creamery started jointly owned by Bermuda Drug Company Ltd. and the United States Company, Borden's as partners.

1880's - 1919

Phoenix lights up

1980 - 1999

Preparing for the millennium

1920 - 1939

The first generation

2000 - 2019

The new millennium

1960 - 1979

The second generation

The third

Early 1960's

The two sons of John Gibson Young - Ward and Reid - return from their studies abroad and start their full time careers with the company.


Magazine Distributors established with William Gillis as Manager. Ward Young joins company as Manager, The Annex Toy Store.


Phoenix Stores Ltd. Celebrates 60th anniversary - offers quart of Bordens ice cream free with every purchase of one pound.


New retail shop in Bermudiana Building opened to showcase paperbacks and magazines. The Bookmart was born, rental at 125.00 UK pounds per month.

Board elected. John Gibson Young (chairman), Sir Henry Tucker, R. Conway Mayor Trott, Leon N. Perenchief and Horace E. Ward.


Devon Creamery amalgamated with Bermuda Creameries.

Reid Young joins as Manager of the Phoenix Stores.


New Bermuda General Agency building is started on Par la Ville Road. Carr Construction the contractors at a price of UK pounds 53,115.8.0.


Plaza Drug Store in Piggly Wiggly Plaza opened in Somerset, not doing well. Devon Creamery plant written off as it was not large enough to sustain growth.

Bermudiana (Hotel) Lobby Shop opened.

Gibson Ward Young and Mary Aline Tucker elected to Bermuda Drug Company Limited Board of Directors. Ronald W. Climenhaga attends as controller, Charles Kempe elected as auditor.

Reid Trott Young elected to Board in place of Mary Aline Tucker.

Woodbourne Chemist opened.


Heyl Building sold for UK pounds 100,000 to Mr. Arthur Gurr.


Bermuda leaves sterling area and the dollar becomes the currency.

Horace Ward retires from the Board of Directors and as General Manager of Bermuda General Agency.
Ward Young moves in as General Manager of Bermuda General Agency.


R. Conway Mayor Trott dies suddenly of a heart attack on April 2nd 1972 having been a director of the company since October 1935. Bermuda Drug Company Limited celebrates 70 years.

McDonalds and Bermuda Drug Company Limited in active discussions over franchise. Lease secured for property owned by Walter Cardie Bluck estate on present site of Bank of Bermuda Compass Point Building.


Bermuda Government introduces payroll tax.


Cummings Vail Zuill joins the Bermuda Drug Company Ltd. Board of Directors.

Douglas Sellars joins as Controller replacing Martin Clarkson.


Collectors Hill Apothecary opens in Smith's Parish on site of Knick Knack Shop.

The Arches Dispensary opens.

Leon Norton Perenchief dies after fifty-three years of service.


The Arches Dispensary - located on Point Finger Road - closes.

Granaway Distributors formed as a subsidiary of Bermuda General Agency to handle the Bristol Myers business in Bermuda.


St. George's Druggist opens as the newest Phoenix Store.


Reid Hall purchased for $950,000 from the Trott family.

1880's - 1919

Phoenix Lights up

Preparing for
the millennium

1920 - 1939

The first generation

2000 - 2019

The new millennium

1940 - 1959

The second generation

1960 - 1979

The third generation


BPSA recognized as bargaining unit for Bermuda Drug Company Ltd. pharmacists.


After developing BGA into the largest distributor of health and beauty aids, pharmaceuticals and drug sundries on the island, Ward Young takes over as President and CEO of BDC Ltd.

Reid Young becomes President of Phoenix Stores and Vice President of BDC Ltd.


Bermuda Pharmacy Limited purchased from William McPhee. This included Eve-McPhee Ltd.

Bermudiana Lobby Shop sold.

Princess Shop and mall shop closed.


Ward Young elected President and CEO of Bermuda Drug Company Ltd.


Douglas Sellars dies suddenly on an Alaskan cruise of a massive heart attack. Louis F. Fourie installed as controller.


Phoenix Stores Ltd. computerizes the dispensing system.


Bermuda Drug Company Ltd. changes its name to BDC LTD.

Shelly Bay property known as the Stables purchased from Charles Marshall for $1,800,000 and was earmarked for a new warehouse for Bermuda General Agency. BGA building sold to the Bank of Bermuda Ltd. for $2,500,000.

Rural Hill Plaza Ltd. and Reid Hall Limited incorporated for the purpose of the development of the land currently used of Paget Pharmacy and the Annex. Rural Hill Plaza construction started using the Gilbert Lopes Construction company.


Rural Hill completed as Old Phoenix Building construction started.


Old Phoenix Building renovated and bottom floor rented to Aston and Gunn owned by TESS Ltd.

Reid Hall completed in March 1990.

Phoenix Clock moved to Reid Street location on Sunday, March 4th 1990. Time capsule located under clock for reopening in the year 2040.

Scanning introduced at Phoenix Stores.


BDC LTD. through its subsidiary Bermuda General Agency acquires Weldon Limited from the Dallas family and formally enters the grocery business with the acquisition of lines such as Heinz, Eveready, First Brands (Glad), Borden's and Oscar Meyer.


BDC LTD. purchases all the operations of Purvis Distributors Limited including the Mill Creek facility for the value of inventory and a goodwill figure of sales, solidifying its presence in the grocery business with grade A lines such as Procter and Gamble, Clorox, Kelloggs, Hunt-Wesson, Cadburys, Dole, etc.

Cris Valdes-Dapena appointed Director and Controller on June 10th 1992. Louie Fourie returns to Canada.


Fernance B. Perry invests in BDC LTD. and joins Board providing much needed capital.

Robert D. Skelley hired as Chief Operations Manager of the Bermuda General Agency as the name is changed to the BGA Group of Companies.

Raymond Brackstone and Ian F. T. Kennedy join Board of Directors.

James P. Campbell installed as Controller BDC LTD.

BGA Group divest themselves of food service and frozen lines.

Rob Skelley was promoted to President and CEO of the BGA Group of Companies.


Ward Young receives MBE in Queen Elizabeth's New Year's honours list.

Year-end changed to finish January 31st 1995 and every year thereafter.

Ward Young assumes position of President and CEO, BGA Group of Companies. Robert D. Skelly moves to a consultative role.

Human Resources department established and Kelly Francis hired as Human Resource Manager. Bank of Bermuda Ltd. restructures loan portfolio.

Ward Young is diagnosed with NHL in November 1995 and undergoes six months of successful chemotherapy.

Linda A. Pollett (nee Mahaffy) joins as Vice President Finance, BDC LTD. George Grundmüller, Vice President, Purchasing -- BGA Group of Companies also attends Directors Meetings.


Ward Young takes over as President and CEO of BDC Ltd. As Mr. John Gibson Young steps down as Chairman.

John Gibson Young resigns as Chairman and Director after a long illness.

Ian F. T. Kennedy resigns as Director.

Fernance B. Perry elected as Chairman of BDC LTD.

Reid Trott Young resigns as Director and President of Phoenix Stores Limited as of July 1st, 1996 and Ward Young purchases his shareholding to become the single largest shareholder of BDC LTD. Linda Young resigns as Manager of the Bookmart.

Laurion Trott McGehee, grandson of Laurion Conway Trott and Manager Phoenix Stores Limited, resigns to move to the United States.

Edmina Bradshaw installed as Manager Phoenix Centre. Kim Young, wife of Ward Young, joins as Bookmart Manager.

Stephen H. R. Young, son of Reid T. Young leaves BDC LTD. to enter offshore field.

Portion of Mills Creek Facility sold to Clermont Investments.


Phoenix Drug Store undergoes massive refit as Hallmark Card section moved upstairs to make way for better layout on main floor.

On June 27th, BDC LTD. purchases Fernance B. Perry (Mayfair Ltd.) shareholding and Ward Young becomes majority shareholder of BDC LTD.

Lady Swan, Carol West, Susan D. Wilson and Bruce Gordon elected to the BDC LTD. Board.

Edmina Bradshaw resigned.

Kim Young elected to House of Parliament as MP for Paget East.

George Grundmüller, Vice President, BGA Group of Companies appointed as President & CEO of Phoenix Stores Ltd.


Kim Young elected to House of Parliament as MP for Paget East.

John Gibson Young reopens Collectors Hill Apothecary after the store undergoes massive refit.

Phoenix Stores installs state of the art pharmacy computer system.

"Charge it 'n fly" programme introduced offering customers one American Airlines® AAdvantage Mile for every dollar charged to the Phoenix Charge Card.

John Gibson Young, JP, former Chairman and Director of BDC Ltd., passes away. He was much respected in the community and much loved by his BDC family.

IN MEMORIAM 1911 - 1998

John Gibson Young, JP was born on April 22nd 1911, in Pembroke. He was the firstborn of William James Young and Frances Aline Young. He was Headboy at Warwick Academy, graduating in 1929 and proceeded to Albany College of Pharmacy gaining his degree in Chemistry in 1932.

Upon returning to Bermuda he entered the family business, the Phoenix Drug Store, as a pharmacist. In 1937, he married Elsie Freeland Trott, daughter of Mr. Laurion Conway Trott and Frances Jauncey Freeland (Mayor) Trott. This past October they were able to celebrate 61 years of wedded bliss. Their 3 children; Ward, Reid Trott and Carol Mayor (Young) Black also survive him.

John Gibson Young was called to the services in 1939 and served in the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps until the end of World War II. He gained the rank of Captain and the position of adjutant to the head of the BVRC, Lt. Col. Sir Jeffrey Astwood. The comradeship he developed with his men during the war led to many, many barbeque reunions on the front lawn at Windy Corners in Riddell's Bay.

After the war, Mr. Young returned to work to run the company known then as The Bermuda Drug Company (Now BDC LTD.). The company at that time consisted of Heyl's Drug Store, The Phoenix Drug Store, The Velvet Ice Cream Factory, The Annex (formerly The Bon Marché) and Bermuda General Agency.

He was instrumental in starting Devon Creamery under license to Borden's Ice Cream and pioneered the formulation of Borden's "filled milk". This business was subsequently sold to the Dunkleys and is now known as Dunkley's Red Milk.

The company grew under his leadership and the results of his efforts are still with us today. Phoenix Stores Limited and BGA Group of Companies stand out as leaders in their fields in Bermuda. The Old Phoenix was truly a local landmark. Old-timers will remember that the store used to stay open until 'the last ferry left Hamilton for Somerset'. Others will know that if you wanted a Cup Match score you went down to the Phoenix (since they had one of the few telephones in Bermuda) to see the up-to-date scores on the scoreboard hanging off the balcony. At Christmas locals still gather on Christmas Eve, just after three o'clock, to hear the Salvation Army play Christmas carols for all to enjoy.

Mr. Young was a member of the Trade Development Board (TDB) for over 20 years and worked closely with Sir Henry Vesey to build our internationally admired tourist business. He traveled overseas each year as a member of the Board's "briefing tours" committee and helped build our quality tourism business of the fifties, sixties and seventies.

He was a Past Commodore of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and was instrumental in moving RHADC from Hamilton, the site of Cable and Wireless, to Mangroville in Paget.

As a long-standing member and later as Chairman of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's Newport to Bermuda finish line committee, he successfully guided many a yacht to Bermuda and helped build that event into one of the world's most prestigious yachting events. Through his association at the Finish Line he became a special friend of the St. David Islanders and particularly the O'Connor and Pitcher families.

He was a Common Councilor in the Corporation of Hamilton and spent many years on the Corporation. Mr. "Phoenix" as he was sometimes known was part of the city's growth into the fine business and cultural centre it is today.

John Gibson Young, like his father before him, was a past president of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce in 1974 and 1975. He was also past president of Riddell's Bay Golf and Country Club. He was Past President of the Hamilton Rotary Club.

In his later years, he joined the Amateur Radio Society of Bermuda. He became a moving force amongst and rose to become President of this organization under his call sign VP9HL.

This interest in telecommunications led him to be appointed by the then, Premier Sir. John Swan to head the fledgling Telecommunications Authority.

As Chairman of the Warwick West Branch of the United Bermuda Party, he was a key figure in the election victories of The Hon. Quinton Edness, JP, CBE and The Hon. Sir John Sharpe, JP, CBE for some 30 years.

Mr. Young was a community person. In short, he was a participant and not a spectator in life.

He was on the St. Mary's Church vestry for upward of forty years during which time he served as Treasurer and churchwarden, raising funds and improving the fabric of the Church.

His directorships included, The Bank of Bermuda Limited and The Bermuda General Theatres.

He was much respected in the community and much loved by his family. We thank God for his life, his work, his faith and his love.


Bermuda Pharmacy moved from Church Street, next to the Bus Depot to, the new Waterfront on Pitt's Bay Road.

1880's - 1919

Phoenix lights up

1980 - 1999

Preparing for the millennium

1920 - 1939

The first generation

The new millennium

1940 - 1959

The second generation

1960 - 1979

The third generation


Ward Young purchases Clarendon Pharmacy and Warehouse from the shareholders and the family of the late Mr. Nigel Price.

Bermuda Pharmacy on Pitt's Bay Road closes.


Annex Toys launches "Baby Zone" to expand their product line of developmental toys, cribs, strollers and carseats for newborns to 36 months.

December 4th 2000

Phoenix and BGA Deal Announced

Hamilton, Bermuda: Today marks a new chapter in Bermuda's business world as the Phoenix Group and the BGA Group of Companies changes hands. Ward Young, President of BDC LTD announced the purchase of BDC2000 (which holds the two companies) by C.T. Famous Ltd., owned by Wendall Brown. The transaction was structured and financed by The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited.

Mr. Young stated, "We have great faith in Mr. Brown's ability to take the company to a new level. We met with just a few prospective purchasers and it was only Mr. Brown who got the picture before we had finished talking. He has insight and vision that is intuitive, exactly what the business needs to grow in the twenty-first century."

Commenting on why he decided to sell the business, Mr. Young said, "After a 1995 brush with cancer, I decided to try to get my family involved in the business to give me more free time for personal edeavours. But because they were settled in other jobs all over the world, they declined. It was then that I sought outside investors, and talked to Wendall Brown. And the rest is history." Under the terms of the agreement Ward Young will act as a consultant and remain on the Board of BDC2000, now a subsidiary of C.T. Famous Ltd.

Mr. Brown said that he had formed C.T. Famous specifically for the purpose of the transaction, and that he was pleased to have the opportunity to uphold the businesses' long-standing tradition of success in Bermuda. Mr. Brown expressed his appreciation to the Bank of Butterfield and particularly to Bob Wilson of the Bank's Corporate Banking Group for his assistance in structuring the transaction.

Calum Johnston, President & CEO of Bank of Butterfield stated, "Bank of Butterfield believes that one of main functions of a community bank is to marshall the savings of the community and to mobilise them in support of the legitimate aspirations of members of the community. We are pleased to facilitate the purchase of the Phoenix Group and BGA, and look forward to its continued growth."

Phoenix Stores opened in November 1902 as a family business on the corner of Reid and Queen Streets. In 1910 the Bermuda Drug Company Limited was formed by the Trott, Mercer and Young families. They later opened the wholesale division, BGA, in the 1930s. In 1946, John G. Young took the president's chair and led the business through the next 30 years, until his sons Reid and Ward took over. After Reid Young retired in 1997, Ward Young remained as Chairman of BDC LTD, and formed BDC2000 a holding company for the BGA Group and the Phoenix Stores. BDC LTD remains with the original shareholders as a land-holding company only. The BGA Group of companies is one of Bermuda's leading wholesale houses specialising in grocery, health and beauty, confectionery, pharmaceutical products and magazines. The Phoenix Stores are the largest retail chain of pharmacies and one of Bermuda's most recognizable brands.

December 4th 2000

Phoenix Stores Ltd., purchases Point Finger Road Pharmacy from Dr. Wong of the Medical Centre.

November 2002

1902 - 2002: 100 years of caring for Bermuda! As we proudly celebrate our Centennial this November, Phoenix goes boldly towards the future with a nod to the past. Our comprehensive history gives us the confidence to strive to be the very best at what we do - as well as the humility that comes with knowing that we can always do better.

For 100 years Phoenix Stores Ltd., has kept pace with Bermuda’s development by expanding our services and our stores to meet your needs. With a flagship store in the very heart of Hamilton and 5 outlying stores it means always being ready to serve our valued customers in any one of our locations – always prepared to provide service and caring 7 days a week. Our dedicated staff and professional group of pharmacists aim to exceed your expectations when shopping at the Phoenix.


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