In 1944 Franklin Veterinary Club was formed. Dr Seagle, a Polish refugee was the first veterinarian. He was joined in 1946 by Gordon Yockney, who arrived in Auckland by ship from England to be met at the wharf by farmers representing both the Franklin and Matamata Vet Clubs.
The offer of a ready to use house (and flowers for Mrs Robina Yockney) ensured the Yockneys moved straight from the wharf to Papakura, where Gordon commenced working for the Franklin Vet Club.
At this time, Drs Yockney & Seagle covered an area from One Tree Hill to Kaiaua, Mercer and Waiuku, in what was aptly known as a fire brigade service. There were only two or three small animal vets in Auckland and no drug wholesalers. Calcium borogluconate was made by boiling calcium gluconate and boracic acid on the kitchen stove. There were no intramammary antibiotic tubes; instead acriflavine salves were made in Robina’s bath tub. Sulphur drugs had been used on troops in WW2 and were only about to arrive in veterinary medicine. Penicillin was not mass produced until 1944 and it was nearly 1950 before it could be used by vets.
Gordon was soon joined by Joe Gould, Ken Scott, other international vets and a young Kiwi trained in Australia, under Veterinary Service Council Scholarships and bonds.
Gordon, Joe and Ken formed a private practice, Franklin Veterinary Services and moved into their first Papakura clinic in Elliot Street. They contracted their services to the Club and its members, becoming the first contract vet practice in NZ, setting the model that many followed.
Massey University graduated its first class of vets including Gordon and Robina’s son Nigel. In 1971 Nigel joined Franklin Vets at Pukekohe. The Pukekohe clinic, surgery and dispensary became located in the spartan surroundings of Nigel’s basement garage in Station Road, supported by an office in the main street.
Ross Beal joined the practice. Gordon, Joe and Ken were working in Papakura supported by the Americans Joe and Tedi Busch. Nigel, Stu Southwell and Ian Douglas worked in Pukekohe. Gordon retired later that year. Phil Holloway joined the practice in 1977 followed by John Maclachlan in 1978 when Ross Beal left on his OE. A band of 9-10 vets worked together through the late 1970’s.
Tedi Busch set about developing the small animal side of the practice and new clinics, with modern small animal facilities were opened in both Papakura and Pukekohe. Small animal services continued to grow.
Nick Twyford joined the practice as our second dedicated companion animal vet.
In the ensuing years
The practice has expanded to Waiuku, Te Kauwhata, Taupiri, Kopu, Beachlands with the most recent acquisition being Paeroa Vets. A series of new clinics have been built to provide our customers with an expanding range of services from ultrasound pregnancy testing to cancer chemotherapy.
The veterinary team has grown to 40, with 23 doing focused on farm and equine work plus 17 caring for companion animals. The vets are supported by 75 nurses, technicians, receptionists and administration staff, many working part time and total 100 full time equivalent positions.
Franklin Vets has a reputation throughout the veterinary profession for innovation and leadership, from being the first contract practice, to the leadership roles several of the current Directors hold within the profession today.
The current Directors and team are committed to continuing to provide you with the high quality services and innovations established by the founders of the practice.