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Minutes of a General Meeting of the Society held on Tuesday 2nd December 2003 at Royal Holloway College, Egham.

Present:  the President Mr. A. P. Muckle and 26 Fellows and guests.

Apologies for absence had been received from 19 Fellows.

Minutes of the meeting held on 11th November had been circulated and were approved.

Matters arising:  none.

Correspondence:  A letter had been received from Mr. L. R. Thomsett, expressing his regret that he was unable to be present and mentioning his happy memories of the Willett practice.

Any Other Business:  none.

The President then addressed the meeting on the subject of "The Central, the Willett Family and the Peace Medal".  Illustrating his talk with a selection of old photographs, Mr. Muckle told the story of the Willett family, from the move to Staines from Kent by a farrier/blacksmith in the mid 19th century, to the professional practice of Willett and Boyde, which became Willett House in  the late 20th century.  Altogether four generations of the Willett family contributed to the practice over many years, with the original premises being transformed almost out of all recognition.

However, the Willett family member who was involved with the Central Veterinary Society and who was instrumental in the inauguration of the Victory Medal was John Willett, the only one of three veterinary surgeon brothers who was not involved with the Staines practice due to family differences.  In October 1919 Mr. Willett  proposed to the CVS AGM that an annual Peace Medal be instituted to celebrate the Allied victory in the Great War.  In June 1920 the design of the medal, by then known as the Victory Medal, was approved, and the first medal was presented in April of 1921 to Mr. H. A. McCormack.

Mr. Muckle then brought history right up to date by presenting the 2003 medal to Mr. John Oliver, BVetMed, MRCVS, citing in particular his substantial contributions to Continuing Education and the BSAVA, as well as his many years of loyal service to the Central Veterinary Society itself.

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