William “Doc” Flowers Sirett was born in the Muskoka District of Ontario in 1879, moving with his parents to the Mentmore district in 1881. He attended school in the local one-room establishment, going on to receive his diploma in agriculture from the University of Wisconsin.
In 1904, he attended the Veterinary College in Ontario, receiving his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. His post-graduate studies were taken at McKillop College in Chicago, Illinois. His veterinary practice of 50 years began in 1911 in Minnedosa. Because there was a scarcity of Veterinarians at the time, he received calls from locations miles from Minnedosa. As a result, the practice extended from east of Neepawa to the Brookdale-Mentmore district, south to Rapid City, west to Newdale and north to Elphinstone, Sandy Lake, Clear Lake, Scandinavia and Mountain Road. Transportation was, until 1928, by Model T in summer and horse in winter.
Much of his practising years were during the Great Depression when money was scarce and payment was often in firewood and produce. His life was spent with long hours on the job, little cash income, frequent night calls, but time to discuss world affairs with his customers and friends. In 1970, CKX “Talk of the Town” paid tribute to “Doc” for his long and dedicated service.
In spite of a busy practice, he served 20 years on town council, four as mayor; as a member of the Hospital Board; and as elder and member of the Board of Stewards of the United Church.
He would never turn down a call, regardless of the time of day or night if it was physically feasible to get there. He had a strong sense of dedication to his practice based on the reality that in those days farm animals were the backbone of farming, providing the power to farm the land and food to feed the family.