Clutha Vets administrator retires

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JOHN.COSGROVE@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

A lifetime of family involvement spanning 112 years with Clutha Vets has come to an end.

Surgery administrator Mary Munro joined Clutha Vets as a veterinary assistant in 1973 and last Friday she retired after 47 years of service.

Clutha Vets is the country’s longest running co›operatively owned vet practice, which can trace its first farmer-employed vet back to 1908.

“My great-great-grandfather was part of the board when it first started 112 years ago, my father was a board member and then I started there,” Mrs Munro said.

It wasn’t her first choice as she had applied to be a doctor’s receptionist but when that job fell through, she followed her passion for helping care for animals.

“On our family farm at Te Houka I had always loved working with the animals so after leaving South Otago High School I started in 1973 at Clutha Vets.

“Back then it was just two vets and two assistants in a converted house on Clyde St, now we have over 60 people working in six branches.”

She said that over the years she has seen many faces come and go, buildings change and had worked in almost every role in the building.

“I have loved the companionship of all the people I have met and worked with over the years.”

“My most memorable moments are actually all of it as so much has happened over the years, massive changes in technology and animal husbandry services, back when I started things were simple. Now farming life is complicated with lots of compliance paperwork and record keeping.”

But her role wasn’t just working with animals, Mrs Munro was the first woman to be elected to the Clutha Vet board, a position she held for 12 years.

“Eventually you reach that moment when it is time to go,” she said.

A keen angler, Mrs Munro said she and husband Mike will divide their time between running their farm north of Clutha and Te Anau where they both love fishing from their boat on the lake there.

“I also want to spend more time with . . . grandchildren.’’