Established in 1955
‘The practice’ was established by an American dentist, Dr Carl Singer. Dr Singer had served with the U S Marine Corps during World War II, and came to New Zealand in the mid-1940s on recreational leave. He met his future wife, Kathleen, while in Masterton and the couple married in 1949 or 1950, in Chicago. The Singers returned to New Zealand in 1953. After Dr Singer re-qualified in dentistry at the Dental School in Dunedin in 1954, they settled in Hamilton in 1955 and Carl established the practice at the north end of Victoria Street, above what was then a cycle shop. The building, which was built in the late 1920s, was once the Hamilton North Post Office and is one of the oldest commercial buildings in that part of the main street. It later became the base for the Lugton family real estate business, now occupying an adjacent site and currently known as Lugton First National. The first floor was continuously occupied by the practice from 1955 until October 1996.
Dr Singer died in 1969. The practice was purchased from his widow by Hamilton dentists Dr J D (Jim) Ward and Dr C A (Tony) Burns, to relieve Mrs Singer of the burden of sale of the business, in the wake of her husband’s death. Drs Ward and Burns on-sold the practice to Dr N K F (Norman) Harris early in 1970. Dr Harris, who previously practised in Te Kuiti, moved to Hamilton and owned the practice until 1986.
Dr Zaf Khouri purchased the practice from Dr Harris in 1986.
In 1994 another Hamilton dentist, Dr Graeme Bloxham, asked Dr Khouri to take over the care of his patients when he left Hamilton. Dr Bloxham’s patients were welcomed into the practice and have been an integral part of the practice family ever since. In October of 1996, Dental Excellence relocated to 1100 Victoria Street, the present premises. The move allowed our patients to be cared for in a custom-designed environment which was bigger, newer, brighter, cleaner and much more accessible.
In 2000 Dr Alan Miller became an associate of Dr Khouri’s, they formed Khouri Miller & Associates. This associateship was disbanded in 2011.
In 1997 a dental hygienist was incorporated into the team at Dental Excellence and this part of the practice is now firmly established as a vitally important aspect of our patients’ dental care.
In July 2013 Dr Fiona Bailey purchased Dental Excellence. Dr Bailey works alongside Dr Khouri, who continues to practice at Dental Excellence. Zaf & Fiona get along very well together, sharing the same aspirations of high quality dental care.
Our sincere thanks to the following people for their kind assistance in compiling this history: Mr & Mrs Trevor & Joan Baron, Dr Brian Burkhart, Dr Tony Burns, Dr Alan Campbell, Dr Norman Harris, Mr David Lugton, Dr Roger Miller, Dr Ian Scott, Dr Jim Ward.