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Dozens crowd Clockwork Pharmacy in Caledonian Road for vigil of beloved worker Emmanuel Polius

PUBLISHED: 14:49 02 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:49 02 April 2018

Family, friends and neighbours release balloons outside Clockwork Pharmacy in Caledonian Road during Friday's vigil in remembrance of Emmanuel Polius. Picture: Polly Hancock

Family, friends and neighbours release balloons outside Clockwork Pharmacy in Caledonian Road during Friday's vigil in remembrance of Emmanuel Polius. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Heartbroken customers and colleagues have paid tribute to a pharmacy worker who was the “life and soul” of Caledonian Road.

Friday's vigil for Emmanuel Polius at Clockwork Pharmacy in Caledonian Road. From left: daughter Porscha Whittaker-Polius, former partner Julia Whittaker and step-son Junior Whittaker. Picture: Polly HancockFriday's vigil for Emmanuel Polius at Clockwork Pharmacy in Caledonian Road. From left: daughter Porscha Whittaker-Polius, former partner Julia Whittaker and step-son Junior Whittaker. Picture: Polly Hancock

Emmanuel Polius, a stalwart of Clockwork Pharmacy’s shop near Story Street, died at home suddenly on Sunday. He was 56.

Dispensary assistant Emmanuel had worked at the shop for over 30 years. On Friday night, dozens of people gathered there for a vigil in his memory. It was arranged by his daughter, Porscha.

Billy Patel is lead pharmacist for the Clockwork chain and works in the Cally branch once a week. He had known Emmanuel, who was from Hackney, since the mid ‘80s.

“I knew Emmanuel before we even worked together,” he told the Gazette. “I knew him from the first branch of Clockwork in Victoria Park Road, Hackney, where his partner worked. We started working together in the Cally in the early ‘90s. We had a really strong bond.

“He was the life and soul of the whole Caledonian Road. The response to his death has been astounding – the entire shop has been filled with vases of flowers from customers since the sad news. It’s been an absolute explosion.

“One customer put it perfectly when she said he was married to the whole of the Cally.”

Friday's vigil for Emmanuel Polius at Clockwork Pharmacy in Caledonian Road. Picture: Polly HancockFriday's vigil for Emmanuel Polius at Clockwork Pharmacy in Caledonian Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Asked what made Emmanuel so popular with the public, Emmanuel added: “He was a gentle giant. He always had time for everyone. He would acknowledge everyone in the shop and he knew all the customers by their name.”

Long-term Clockwork customer Debbie Lynch added: “Everybody around here knew him. He was the ultimate people person.

“He didn’t care who you were, whether mums and babies or elderly people or people who needed help filling in their prescription forms. He would always help. He was such a decent and respectable human being.

“I’ve seen grown men walking the Cally crying because they can’t believe he’s gone. He’s really touched so many people’s lives over the years. It shows just how beautiful a person he was. He inspired such love and this has completely shocked a community.”

Arrangements for Emmanuel’s funeral are yet to be announced.

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