Outgoing Te Are Manu Vet Clinic medical director Dr. Michael Baer watches as a veterinarian works on a patient. TAM/23103126
Less than three weeks until I finish at Te Are Manu (TAM) and as always when something is about to end, my mind drifts to what has happened, what was then, and what is now. And how lucky I have been, writes Dr Michael Baer, the outgoing Te Are Manu Vet Clinic medical director.
I arrived at the
heyday of the Dog Registration Committee. That gave me a great introduction to
the other organisations Te Are Manu works with. Led by the Police Service our
committee made great gains in coming to grips with the dog related issues around
The Ministry of
Tourism are of critical importance to these efforts. Promotion and
organisation, liaison and securing funding. Lots of people are involved but I
wouldn’t have known anything about what to do without a few people in
particular, so to Christian, Sieni, and Carlene all I can say is thank you so
much. You made my job easy, even if I
often made your jobs difficult.
The Ministry of
Agriculture were a valuable member of the Committee, but the relationship
between TAM and Agriculture is much closer than that. We are neighbours for a
start and as I write this, I can see Victor and the boys hard at work, grafting
fruit trees. I will miss the tunes and the laughter that often accompanies
their work. But mostly I have worked with Livestock and Biosecurity. It was
flattering to be asked to help at times. Biosecurity does an amazing job
keeping the country free of diseases that are commonplace everywhere else in
the world. And the Livestock people are knowledgeable and capable and a joy to
work with. Once again, a lot of people are involved, but I have to single out a
few, who I dealt with more often and made my life so easy. Of course, Temarama, Ngatoko, Parvi, Patu, Cecelia,
Aketairi, Raita and Teatai. The last four of these were Paravet students,
together with Tuaine, Tuatai and Tekura from Mauke. What a pleasure and
privilege it was to help them with the course. And for making my job easy, even
if I made your jobs more difficult.
That leaves the
SPCA, with whom we have perhaps the closest relationship. What an amazing organisation. We are so lucky
to have them in the country. And what a
dedicated and special crew of people. I was lucky to work with Steve and Jenny
when I first arrived and David, Sher, Pauline and Jo have been around since way
before I arrived. But Mata (Junior) and Sarah Nooroa are the people I have
worked with most. Officially Sarah works for TAM, but that doesn’t stop her
“volunteering” for the SPCA seven days a week. And Junior is always on call.
Great organisations are made by great people. Thanks for making my job easy,
even if I made your jobs more difficult.
But DRACC are not
the end of the story. Paws’N’Claws are
such an asset to our work, and Shannon and Don have my admiration for what they
have done. Aitutaki Community Animal
Rescue do great things every day, and Steph, Yvonne, Vicky and Winnie helped me
so much. Marilyn in Mangaia and Jude in Atiu have helped at every turn. And Air
Air Rarotonga have
been fantastic. The support they gave to my many requests. The reception I received was as happy, as
helpful and as friendly when I changed bookings for the 170th time
as it was at the beginning. I don’t know how they managed it, even I was ready
to plant my own boot in my own pants some days. And yet Air Rarotonga took it
in stride, sorted out the problems I caused them and flew me around the
country. Meitaki maata.
There is a saying
that it takes a village to raise a child. I don’t know about that. But I do know that to have any success as a
vet clinic it takes a lot of cooperation from friends and helpers.