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Last Friday saw a historic celebration for the Veterinary Profession in Yorkshire, as the Yorkshire Veterinary Society celebrated its 150th anniversary. As the current President of the Yorkshire Veterinary Society, I was heavily involved in the events to celebrate the anniversary.

The inaugural meeting of the society was held on 9 September 1863 at The Queens Hotel in Leeds. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons had been established just 18 years earlier by Royal Charter and The Royal Veterinary College in London was registered as the only establishment to train qualified Vets.

In 1863, the first President of the society, a Mr E Dray of Leeds presented an 8 page speech in florid Victorian language where he extolled the virtues of association to share clinical knowledge and experiences.

Last Friday, 150 years and 2 days later, the anniversary celebrations were held at The Queens Hotel. The day began with a series of Anniversary Lectures which were held in meeting rooms in the hotel. The topics discussed included Small Animal Orthopaedics and Back-Yard-Farm-Yard problems. The lectures were well attended and thoroughly interesting.

In the evening, there was a black tie dinner and with over 260 guests, all connected with the Veterinary Profession in Yorkshire making it the largest gathering of the Yorkshire Veterinary Profession ever. As President, I had to make a short speech. Past Presidents of the society were presented with a commemorative badge and the President of the British Veterinary Association presented an after dinner speech.

Representatives from The World Of James Herriot Museum in Thirsk attended with a display of historical Veterinary artefacts. As a Past President of the society, James Herriot (Alf White) is the iconic Yorkshire Vet and the Yorkshire Veterinary Society are proud to support a new bursary scheme in his name which hopes to support young people who wish to become vets or work in other animal care related vocations.

It is a real honour to be the President of the Yorkshire Veterinary Society and especially so during such an important year in the society’s history and it is fascinating to note that, on the society’s 100th Anniversary, the President was a Mr Mckinna of Huddersfield who was one of the founders of our Veterinary Practice before it was sold to Mr Donaldson.