History & Milestones





Compiled  by Alan Shaw

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15 January 1907        
Announcement of the formation of  Clutha Veterinary Association to obtain the services of  a Veterinary Surgeon for the Balclutha and environs areas.


19 April 1907 

Application to the Government from Milton farmers to provide a Veterinary Surgeon for that area refused.


8 October 1907           

Cable from the Royal Veterinary College of Edinburgh  that a Veterinary Surgeon,  Mr John Danskin MRCVS,  was leaving the United Kingdom on 28th November 1907 for New Zealand and to take up the appointment with the Clutha Veterinary Association.


Early 1908                         

Arrival of  John Danskin


2 February  1915               

Decision made to allow MrJohn Danskin to take over the practice by himself.


9 March 1915                

Affairs of the Clutha Veterinary Association  “wound-up”.



Mr David Marshall  MRCVS,  a local man from Warepa who had trained in Edinburgh,  took over the practice from Mr Danskin who moved to Invercargill to practice.


Mr David Marshall  leaves to take up a position with the Department of Agriculture in Hamilton.


10 June 1929                 
Committee formed to reactivate Clutha Veterinary Association Decision made to write to the  Edinburgh  and Glasgow  Veterinary Colleges seeking information on what terms they could recommend a suitable veterinary surgeon and  if  a suitable man was available. Application for Incorporated Society status for Clutha Veterinary Association. 


18 November 1929           
The Superintendant for the Department of Agriculture in Otago advised that                                   Mr TJ Lewis MRCVS (London) was leaving the United Kingdom on 6th December in the SS Tainui and would be taking up his duties in January 1930.


September 1937 
Appointment of Mr George McDonald following the death of Mr Tom Lewis.



Saw the departure of Mr Geo McDonald, for Rata in the North Island and the appointment of Mr Armfield MRCVS in March but by mid-May had to resign because of ill health.  There was great difficulty in obtaining a replacement surgeon and in September 1942 Mr GC Hayhurst took over the position but only was available from Thursday to Sunday each week.


Alan Leslie,  CEO of the Veterinary Services Council phoned  Mr Tom Wallace, who had just completed his BVSc at Sydney University, asking him to consider going to Balcutha because he thought that Tom Wallace would be well suited to the CVA Practice because of his Scottish ancestry.


Appointment of Mr Tom Wallace BVSc.(Sydney), the first of the Australian trained  veterinary surgeons appointed  also his wife Mrs Pat Wallace.


Tom and Pat Wallace left to be involved in the production side of  pastoral farming taking charge of a very large dairy herd outside Sydney. Tom and Pat Wallace had given outstanding service to  CVA and South Otago and are still remembered with a good deal of affection in the District.






1952 – 1958  
Saw a rapid expansion of the CVA services together with the building of a number of Clinic buildings off Clyde Street in Rosebank, Balclutha,  as well as new staff houses.   Installation of Radio Telephones.

Resignation of Colin Jenkins from Management Committee  after 15  years on the Management Committee and 10 as Chairman  taking CVA through some important development years since 1949. Opening of Diagnostic Station at Invermay.

Major work by CVA, through the VSC, to have Rams identified with Brucellosis permanently marked - after local problems of rams being inspected by veterinarians as having brucellosis and still being sold and / or used in flocks.
Appointment of JC Mathieson as Senior Surgeon and CEO


Inclusion of part of Taieri  into CVA practice area.

Deputation to have Surgeon based at Milton


RH Montgomery appointed and based at Milton as first veterinarian in that area.

Taieri farmers invited to join CVA on same terms as present members.

Death of Patron   Mrs EA Pearson.


Milton Surgery completed.


JC Mathieson appointed to VSC

Milton expansion  had very successful first year.


Establishment of Telford Board with CVA involvement.

Start of NZ Veterinary School at Massey


Discussions with SOA&P Society re testing rams in Ram Fairs.

Purchase of Milton section and building in new position.


Milton Shop and Surgery being built.

JC Mathieson leaves to take over a position withTasman Vaccine Ltd in Australia.

H Montgomery on 12 months leave for Churchill Scholarship.

Nomination of Tom Wallace - Cambridge Veterinary Club for Allan Leslie Award.








Directors positions sought for two Directors on SIDA Board representing

S.I.Veterinary Clubs.

Milton $40 Debentures issued, with Interest at 5%,  for the development and expansion of the surgery and services based in Milton.  -  $8,320 raised.

Veterinary inspections started of all rams for sale at SOA&P Rams Fairs.


Milton Surgery  additions and improvements opened.

Delegation from Stock Agents requesting a discount on accounts paid by Stock Firms

on behalf of their clients.   CVA to continue policy of not paying such discounts.

NZ Federation of Veterinary Clubs Conference at Balclutha.

CVA 60th Jubilee celebrated.   Jubilee Booklet printed.


Big staffing problems with many changes in veterinary staff.

CVA Membership Subscriptions :-

Properties with a Capital Valuation in excess of $10,000 = $10 per year

Properties with a Capital Valuation under $10,000           = $3 per year

Basic Fees :- Minimum $3 - revisit to the same animal  $1.50

Mileage :-   7.5 cents per mile with maximum of $3.00 per visit.


AGM at Clydevale.   First time away from Balclutha.


Big problems with dairy calves that had not had sufficient or any colostrum resulting in their bacteria being resistant to all commonly used antibiotics.


First inspection of Gough Gough and Hammer building in Wilson Road  as possible site

for relocation of CVA.  

Henley Depot opened.

Appointment of JC Mathieson as Senior Surgeon and CEO


Purchase of GG&H building.   Special Subscription of $50 per member well supported providing a good capital base for new surgery purchase and development.

Opening of new Surgery  -  Friday 16th November 1973



Sale of 4 spare sections on Wilson Road for $13,000

Sale of Cossen Street property for $37,000

JC Mathieson confirmed as  Senior Surgeon and CEO

AB Bissett joined staff and stationed at Milton.

Cash Discount for prompt payment operating.


CVA joined Otago Employers' Association.


Regular Newsletters started to bring information on Animal Health to CVA area.

SO Pest Destruction Board leases land for Poison Store


Turnover  $500,000+.   Repaid all debentures on Balclutha and Milton.


New Xray Plant at Balclutha.   Flood damage to Henley Store

Planned Animal Health Programmes introduced.   Infertility, disease, nutrition.

Decision made to adopt computer system of accounting.

George Stark appointed Stock Control manager. Purchase of  CVA Truck

Death of Colin Jenkins – Patron and Life Member

Re-roofing Balclutha building  $13,102

CVA Anniversary Farm School at Telford – outstanding success – 160 attending

75th Year.    $1,000,000 Turnover for the first time






Senior Surgeon and CEO Position offered to Bruce Bissett - appointed

Alterations and additions to Balclutha Offices and Surgery

Introduction of extensive computer services - accounting and stock control. 

Accounts done at Wilson Road.   SIDA Rebate for year   $38,337

JC Mathieson  retires – with CVA for 21 years over 3 periods 


Completion of new larger and more suitable Henley Depot bilding.

Introduction of  10% prompt payment discount on Merchandise Purchases

Review of Computer programmes.   Turnover  $1,600,000


Bank Investment receiving 21% for 12 months period

SI Chemicals 1985-86 Rebate  $31,480

BR & JB Walker  100th CVA Member


Good Cash Surplus enabling extensive expansion and development work

Surgery and Office alterations  and addition of Upstairs Offices at Balclutha.

Informal approach by CRT  re joint venture / amalgamation

CVA / CRT  Joint Venture rejected; negotiations discontinued.

Majority Shareholders of SIDA sell to Brothers’ Holdings.

Decision made to contest the price being offered for SIDA “B” Shares.

CVA  “fronting”  South Island Veterinary Clubs fight for “fair” share price.

Clutha, Western Southland, Northern Southland, Edendale, Ashburton,  Waimate, and Kaikoura Veterinary Clubs.

Purchase of new orthopaedic plant.   Introduction of Laproscopic Artificial Insemination

Extensive advisory work to eliminate sheep abortions.

Vibriosis and Toxoplasmosis trials on 20 South Otago farms.



First time turnover over $2,000,000.    $143,478 paid in discounts to members.

Loss of Annual SIDA Rebates approximately $35,000 per year.

Major work advising and training members on faecal egg counts and drench resistance

Employment of 6th permanent veterinarian.

Vet and farmer Seminars on pleurisy and arthritis

CVA and others take High Court action to obtain “fair” value for SIDA “B” Shares


Publication of Vetmark Dipping Booklet prepared by John Smart

New Balclutha Office extensions opened.

Counsel engaged to represent CVA and other SI Vet Clubs in High Court SIDA case



Retirement of Lyn Hayward after 41 years as Secretary. 

Also Arthur Hollander retires after 26 years service on CVA Board

Drench resistance seminars.    Large number of sheep A I s

Milton alterations postponed due to Tendered prices being too high.

SIDA High Court hearing  of  CVA and Others V  SIDA.

Transfer of VSC responsibilities to Rural Veterinary Development Committee





Turnover exceeds $3,000,000.    Discount to members   $178,292

Significant change seen from “fire brigade service” to prevention and best production.   Over 1000 ewes AI’d

High Court decision re SIDA share value in Veterinary Clubs favour . 

CVA share $ 93,331 from 50cents per share plus dividend and interest. 



Turnover  $3,600,000    Discounts to members  $200,567

Purchase of the old Dalgety building in Milton from Milton Mowers and Cycles  to double available floor  space.  Milton Mowers and Cycles buying present CVA building.

Tender  of  $161,200  accepted for alterations and additions to new Milton building

CVA veterinarians involved with 2 Focus Farms  and also Sharemilker of the Year.

Regular Newsletters written by John Smart well received.

$60,000 of SIDA Share money invested for best future use


Balclutha reception desk open from 8.00am to 5.30pm daily

Balclutha and Milton surgeries now have Registered Veterinary Nurses

Big alterations to delivery of post-mortem and laboratory reports to members.

CVA Veterinary and  Agricultural Student Bursaries to value of $8,000 per year             

Strategic Planning Workshops for Directors and Staff.

Turnover $4,700,000    Discounts $274,834,     Profit $354,356

CVA Scholarships offered to 4th and 5th Year Veterinary Students from practice area.    

Purchase of ORC Poison Store , in CVA grounds at Balclutha.

Planning under way for alterations to Balclutha retail facilities and  small animal clinics

Major emphasis on Optigrow faecal egg counts, and advisory services.

Completion of major alterations and additions at Balclutha.

Main building opening Friday 27th October by Lyn Hayward.

New building work an outstanding success.

2 – CVA Veterinary Bursaries awarded at $2,000 each

3 – Agricultural Bursaries awarded at $1,000 each.

CVA and Ancare  combining to sponsor  “Clutha Sheep Farmer of the Year”.

CVA backs CF2000  Sheep Farming Improvement initiatives with $4,000 grant.

Excellent cobalt booklet produced – mainly by John Smart


Tender  let for new Merchandise Storage Shed at Balclutha.

Additional office space built at Milton.

B12 Trials by Jillian Clark.


CVA Major Sponsor for Clutha Sheep Farmer of the Year,   Deer Farmer of the Year, and Otago Sharemilker of the Year.

Delayed Payment introduced on some retailing lines.

Introduction of Clydevale Depot in old Clydevale Store    

Hind scanning for pregnancy undertaken and scanner use on small animal procedures

Manual dairy cow pregnancy and ageing service introduced.

Tony Smith appointed as Retail Manager

Purchase of Clydevale Store 

First Salmonella Brandenburg report  - John Smart.

Total CVA Members equity at 30th April 1999 Book Value =  $2,328,027

Tb  continues to be a major problem in beef and deer herds in the area..



John Smart gets recognition at NZVA Conference and from Massey for his outstanding work on Salmonella Brandenburg.  Computers installed at Milton.

Introduction of Bar Coding in Merchandising.  Clydevale and Henley operating well.




Excellent year for retail sales.   Busy year in dairy veterinary work.

Alterations and short shift for Henley Depot building.
New Cattery at Balclutha

Vet Operating from Clydevale Shop

Gore Vets agree to joint sponsorship of Clutha Sheep Farmer of the Year

CVA Scholarship for CVA Area Students at Telford introduced

Frequent Seminars and Farm Schools to provide information and advice on current  animal health and production problems and to keep Members up-to-date on latest technology, ideas, and products.

CVA Policy to have Vets up-to-date by attending National Conferences in their own specialities and interests.    Also Support Staff to Training Courses.

Peter McNab on Remuneration Committee of the NZFVC

Major changes mooted for the role of NZ Federation of Veterinary Clubs.


John Howie’s Dairy Pregnancy Database well received in CVA and other practices.

OEPB  Share Fund  of $65,000  earmarked for research.

$200,000  paid back to members in additional discount after the completion of the financial year which equated to 3.3% of sales.

Upgrading of Balclutha reception area. New Lawrence depot performing well.

Bar Coding introduced and used extensively in retail  areas.

CVA providing good A&P Society sponsorship and prizes.

Sponsorship of 2 Students to Telford


Bruce Bissett receives Allan Leslie Award at Fed VC  AGM

Peter Mcnab elected to Council of Federation of Veterinary Clubs.        

Balclutha Bulk Store Expansion completed.

Additional Discount of $400,000 (4.3%) being paid to members in proportion to

their transactions with CVA during the 2002 – 2003 Year





Centenary Celebrations
Additional Discount of $100,000 paid out


Bruce Bissett steps down as CEO and Meredith MacKenzie takes over

Meredith Mackenzie leaves Clutha Vets

Milton Clinic is completely refurbished

The Executive Management Group (EMG) - four senior vets, take over the management of Clutha Vets
Introduction of 4WD vehicles to the Clutha Vets fleet.

Paul Bonini leaves Clutha Vets

Clydevale Clinic refurbished




Compiled from Board and Committee Minutes,  Annual Reports,  Reminisces of Board Members and Staff,  CVA Records and Reports,  Newspaper Records and other authenticated sources.