On February 23, 1917, in the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce building, twenty-three veterinarians discussed forming a local veterinary association. From this group of practitioners from Allegan, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Kent counties an organizational committee was established.
Under the direction of Dr. C.S. McQuire, the committee drafted a proposed constitution which was adopted on March 23, 1917. The name of the new organization was now officially "The Western Michigan Veterinary Medical Association." Dr. George W. Hare of Allegan was elected the first president.
For the next few years, meetings generally were held in conjunction with the winter meetings of the Grand Rapids Veterinary College Alumni. The summer meetings were usually centered around a lakeside picnic.
The relative activity of the association, as did our nation, lessened during the later 1920's. However, a new vigor was blooming in the 1930's and regular meetings with programs, and all-day clinics were restored. For the next twenty years, this group enlarged to include members from all of lower Michigan, including the faculty members of the Michigan State Veterinary College. Participation in Legislative and regulatory policies became pleasantly intense and rewarding during the 40's and 50's. Important proposals presented were written into laws while the merits of a few measures proposed by a few members in the 50's are now again appearing and being passed by state lawmakers.
In the 1950's the association gelled into a stable 'local' association having fostered three other associations which are now independent groups. The Western Michigan Veterinary Medical Association adopted a revised constitution in 1965, continuing to be a constituent of the state asssociation. This group has continued to present regular professional meetings and programs. It is the endeavor of our present officers to present high caliber scientific and social programs throughout the coming year.
-Edward Heffron, historian