HISTORY OF THE CVMA
Compiled from the records of the past secretaries, notably Dr. Thomas Bland, Dr. George F. Corwin, now deceased and Dr. Earnest Patchen, a brief history of the association is herewith recorded.
In the year of 1884 there met in perfect harmony of distinguished veterinarians of their day, who must have had in mind at the time the betterment of their profession and the foresight of better days to come.
The first meeting was called on the 13th day of February, 1884. Eleven practitioners responded to the call and there a veterinary society was formed, under the name of Connecticut Veterinary Medical Society. Constitution and By-Laws were adopted with the following elected officers: President, Dr. W.J. Sullivan; Secretary, Dr. Thomas Bland; Treasurer, Dr. Nathan Tibbals. Regular meetings were held in New Haven on the second Tuesday of every second month, with the annual meeting held in Waterbury on the first Tuesday in February. The organization prospered in spite of the ominous thirteenth day of the month on which it first saw light and continued as a voluntary society until June 7, 1887.
The first official document is dated Tuesday June 7, 1887, on which date they met in Waterbury, Connecticut. Present at the meeting were Doctors E.C. Ross, J.E. Gardener, A.D. Sturges, A.A. Tuttle, Nathan Tibbals and Thomas Bland. This meeting was held pursuant to a special call, in writing, for the purpose, duly signed by E.C. Ross and Thomas Bland, two of the incorporators of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association. There was preset at this meeting ex-mayor Kendrick who was attorney for the corporation, and at that time presented the charter for the association, duly approved March 8, 1887.
The Charter was on motion, accepted unanimously, by there being a majority of incorporators named therein in the vote. On motion, officers were balloted form to serve during the ensuing term. They were: President, E.A. McLellan; First Vice President, A.D. Sturges; Second Vice President, W. Lewis; Secretary, Thomas Bland and Treasurer, Nathan Tibbals.
The seal for the corporation was presented by the secretary and adopted. The impression is appended to the minutes. It was voted that the annual dues should be thereafter the sum of Six Dollars ($6.00). A By-Law to that effect was presented and adopted, and the organization formerly assumed the charter name of Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association. There are other items in the minutes of this meeting which refer to the procurement of By-Laws and presentation of bills.
Dr. Thomas Bland, who was the association’s first secretary, served this association as secretary or treasurer until the time of this death in 1933. A few of them were well acquainted in a fraternal, social and professional way with Dr. Bland, who was an outstanding veterinarian, it should be said a specialist in equine surgery. It will be noted that he was also a prime mover in the association’s organization and in all movements for the betterment of the profession. The official document is recorded in the writing of Secretary Dr. Bland in an excellent Spencerian hand. This recording is a masterpiece and worthy of being placed in an institution for safe keeping as a memento and a matter of record.
In those early days the profession really had no power, no more than a quarantine, and even in such cases the law was not enforced. A legislative committee was formed to determine who were the proper authorities and who did have the power to quarantine and take the matter in hand. Their persistence in bringing forth the dangers of glanders and other diseases, no doubt had a great bearing on laws which were later passed, putting the control of disease dangerous to public health of the proper authorities who could act officially.
At the meeting of September 4, 1888, it was proposed to make an attempt to secure a veterinary practice act. However, even though this matter was one of their utmost endeavors to protect, not only the public but the graduate veterinarians, a Veterinary Practice Act was not passed by the legislature until 1905. The legislative act pertaining to the practice of veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry, which created an examining board, and requiring all those who wish to practice in this state to have passed a satisfactory examination prescribed by the said board, is considered an outstanding accomplishment.