These are all short extracts taken from our Club Newsletters.
The Club's first Newsletter was published in November, 1983. It contained several articles, the Minutes of the inaugural meeting, the proposed Club Constitution and the results of the Club's first Show. The early Newsletters were compiled and printed by Gerry Coady at the De La Salle College at Caringbah.
The members present at the ordinary meeting on 5th February, 1984 were told of a very generous donation of a setting of d'Anvers eggs by Mr P. Kearney, Longlea, Victoria, to each new member of the Club. Sincere thanks were expressed by the members for this generosity. The Constitution that had been drawn up was accepted by the members present. At the time the Club had 25 members.
The Young Bird Show held at Hawkesbury Showground in conjunction with the Wyandotte Club on the 10th March, 1984 attracted fifty four entries. There were 25 male and 23 female d’Anvers, 2 male and 2 female d’Uccle and 2 pairs exhibited. Judge, Lindsay Carven, stated that he was amazed at the quantity and quality of the birds on exhibition, all achieved in such a short time. If the comments and enquiries for stock and eggs were any indication, it would appear that the future of the Belgian Bantam Club was assured.
In that same year (1984) there were forty two Belgians entered in the A.O.V. class at the Sydney Royal Show, with the pullet of Mrs I. Raines being awarded Champion. The judge was Athol Pengilly from Quirindi, NSW. On a sadder note, some of the entries were stolen from their show cages.
In 1984 Alex Cheetham was nominated for consideration by the
R.A.S. as the Belgian Judge for the 1985 Sydney Royal Show. Frank Catt, Gerry Coady, Bruce Raines, Bill
Bull, Errol Green and Doug McKenzie were nominated for consideration as
Left: Alex Cheetham
(not sure of the date of this photo)
Right: Frank Catt
(photo taken in 1985)
At the ordinary meeting, held on the 30th June, 1984, it was resolved on the motion of Frank Catt and Ron Cameron that any future Life Membership be confined only to outstanding benefactors, not just anyone who wanted to pay the cash amount ($50-00) required, and that this condition be included in an amendment to the Club Constitution. After some discussion by the members present the motion was carried.
The first official Annual Show of the Club was held at Clarenden Showground on 30th June 1984. There were 56 birds presented for the judge, Alex Cheetham. The Champion Belgian was the Lavender d’Anvers cockerel owned by Ron Cameron. Ron also won Best Opposite Sex with a Millefleur pullet.
Items of interest in the August, 1984 Newsletter
included word that Belgian Bantams had made their way to the Northern Territory. George Webb, of Hurstville, NSW took six
Lavender d'Anvers to Alice Springs where he
exhibited them at a local show, where they won and were subsequently sold.
Still speaking of shows, it was pleasing to see Gavin Woods' Quail Belgian win the A.O.V. class at the Adelaide Royal Show. The judge, Clive Clause was very impressed and expressed a desire to acquire some for himself. Several members were attempting to breed the de Watermael, including Gerry Coady, Ron Cameron and Tim Rumble.
At a General Meeting on the 14th October, 1984 Lindsay Carven generated a discussion on the need to create new varieties of d'Anvers, with Duckwings or Greys being the most desirable.
Left to right: Gerry Coady, Veronica Mayhew, Charles Mayhew, Mrs Catt
(photo taken by Frank Catt at Charles Mayhew's residence in England in 1985)
At a general meeting on the 11th August, 1985 there was a quite heated discussion regarding the actions of the Nepean Agricultural Show Poultry Committee. It was pointed out to the members that the Show Secretary had accepted Doug McKenzie's entries (of Belgian Bantams), and again had accepted the birds at penning on Friday night. The next morning when Doug arrived he found all the cages holding his birds had been covered and the birds rejected. The Committee resolved to send a letter of complaint. It was at this meeting that George Wilson presented the Club with two shields to be used as perpetual trophies – one for d’Uccle and one for d’Anvers.
The 1985 Annual Show was held in on 11th August at Fairfield Showground in conjunction with the Silkie Club and attracted 73 birds, mostly d’Anvers. There was a big display of information, photographic material, posters and postcards. The judge was Gary Phillips. Gerry Coady won Best d’Uccle and Best d’Anvers.
The long awaited letter from the Royal Agricultural Society finally arrived, dated the 12th August, 1985, accepting Belgian Bantams as a separate class at the 1986 Sydney Royal Show. It carried a request to negotiate what classes would be allocated. After discussions with the R.A.S. Poultry Committee the initial classes were agreed upon. The d'Uccle would have two classes, male and female – the d'Anvers would have four - cock, hen, cockerel and pullet.
On the 15th February, 1986 a "Queensland Sub
Branch" of the Club was formed at a meeting held at the Kennedy residence
at Loganlea. There were eighteen people
present, including Doug McKenzie, who had travelled up from Sydney for the occasion.
The Sydney Royal Show of 1986 saw a total of 82 Belgians exhibited, 63 d’Anvers and 19 d’Uccle. The judge was Ron Cameron. The best Belgian prize was eventually awarded to a three year old Millefleur d'Uccle hen, owned by Gerry Coady.
The 1986 Annual Show was held on 22nd August at Fairfield Showground in conjunction with the Silkie Club. There were 112 entries. Judge, Keith Dubber, stated he was amazed at the improvement noticed in the birds since he had last judged them. The winning bird was a Quail d’Anvers hen owned by Gerry Coady.
At the Lawn Parade held on the 1st March, 1987 grading cards were used for the first time in Australia by judge, Gary Hart. The cards were marked with squares to indicate Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and No Merit, with an additional section for the Judge's comments.
The Sydney Royal Show of 1987 allocated a total of 16
classes for Belgian Bantams, which gave them the second highest number
overall. The judge was Keith
Drubber. There was prize money of $50
cash for Best Belgian, which was won by Gerry Coady's Millefleur d'Uccle cock,
and $25 for Best Opposite Sex, which was also won by Gerry Coady with a
Lavender d'Anvers Pullet.
Club members were saddened to hear of the unexpected death of the President, Errol Green, who died on 1st September, 1987. Errol, who not only bred Belgian Bantams, was known throughout the Commonwealth for his Indian and Malay Game birds. He also had Wyandottes, including some very rare Silver laced Bantams. Many Club members attended his funeral.
The 1987 Annual Show, held at Fairfield Showground on 13th September, was judged by Max Atkins, who expressed his delight and amazement at the number (89) and quality of the birds exhibited. A special feature was the showing of a Porcelaine Barbu d'Uccle and several Millefleur d'Anvers. Gerry Coady won Champion d’Uccle with his Millefleur cockerel and Champion d’Anvers with his Quail cock.
The 1988 Annual Show, held on 11th September at Fairfield Showground, saw 100 Belgians presented to judge, Ron Cameron. Best in show was a Quail d'Anvers cock owned by Alex Cheetham. The Best Opposite Sex in Show - Quail d'Anvers Hen - Alex Cheetham
At the Annual General Meeting held on the 11th
September, 1988 President elect, Gerry Coady, stood down and resigned from the
Club after the motion to re-affiliate with the A.F.C.A.C. (All Feathered Clubs
Advisory Council) was carried. Despite
much persuasive argument he would not change his mind regarding his opinions of the A.F.C.A.C. or his
decision to resign from the Club, and further stated that Vice President elect,
Frank Catt, would probably resign too.
Due to his decision another election had to be carried out.
Our 1989 Annual Show, held at Broadmeadow Showground on 23rd July, saw seven members exhibiting a total of 106 birds for judge, Ken Bergin. Ken commented on the high standard of most of the exhibits, and was pleased by the improvements that had been made. Champion d'Uccle went to Peter & Paul Williams' Millefleur cock and they also won best d'Anvers with a Lavender cockerel.
At an ordinary meeting held on 29th April, 1990 there was much discussion regarding the "Best Bird in Show" award. Alex Cheetham commented that this was only one person’s opinion on the day and felt it should be abolished. Gerry Coady said he was never in favour of "Best Bird in Show", and agreed with Alex. After a lengthy discussion it was moved Alex Cheetham and Laurie Clout that the award be abolished for all future shows. It was carried unanimously.
The Club had its first Tasmanian member when Tony Parker of Devonport joined in mid 1990. At about the same time Paddy McQuaid of Darwin also joined. Paddy, and his daughter Bridget, bred a team of Lavender Belgians from stock taken to Darwin earlier in the year. Mrs K. Freeman of W.A. was also an enthusiastic member.
The Annual General meeting held on the 29th July, 1990 saw the election of our first and so far, only Life Member. Laurie Clout nominated and Kerry Lindsay seconded the motion to award Life Membership to Gerry Coady. After much heated discussion, with members being both for and against the proposal, a vote was taken. The motion was carried by six votes to five, so Gerry Coady was duly conferred with Life Membership.
The 1990 Annual Show was held on 29th July at Fairfield Showground and judged by Ken Spratt. He stressed that a lot of birds were too big and not showing themselves. He told members they must remember that these birds are "show" birds and must be trained to "show" themselves to advantage. Crooked breast bones were common and birds with this problem should not be used for breeding. Best d'Uccle was a Millefleur male owned by Coady & Hughes. Best d'Anvers was a Lavender Cock owned by Peter & Paul Williams.
There were 209 birds penned for judging by Gary Hart
at the 1991 Annual Show, held at Fairfield Showground in conjunction with the
Wyandotte Club on 29th June. This surely
was the largest gathering of Belgian Bantams ever seen in Australia. The rare colours were a sight to behold and
several birds changed hands at a figure approaching the $100 mark, and were
well worth it. Unfortunately nobody
seems to have kept a copy of the results and they were not printed in any of
the subsequent Newsletters. However, we
do know that Laurie Clout won Best d’Anvers with a Quail Hen and Peter and Paul
Williams won Best d’Uccle with a Millefleur cock.
The 1991 A.G.M. held after the Annual Show on 29th June, saw more discussion regarding a Club badge and Club spoons, with the latter being deferred due to lack of funds. Badges were to be investigated. The venue for future Annual Shows was discussed with members undecided about whether to use Fairfield or Castle Hill. The main advantage of Fairfield was joining with other Clubs, and having a food service provided. The Club Secretary, Paul Williams, stated that we had 53 members, including 12 who had joined in the last year.
The new Club badge (way back then)
Do You Belong?
(This poem appeared in the Summer 1991 and May, 1993 Newsletters)
Are you the kind of member, the kind who would be missed,
Or are you just content that your name is on the list.
Do you attend the meetings and mingle with the flock,
Or do you stay at home and criticise and knock.
Do you take an active part to help the work along?
Or are you satisfied to just belong?
Do you ever go to visit a member who is sick?
Or leave the work to just a few and talk about the clique.
Think this over member - you know right from wrong,
Are you an active member, or do you just belong?
There were 200 birds penned for the judge, Wilf Wingett, at the 1992 Annual Show, held on the 27th June at Fairfield Showground. Peter & Paul Williams took out both major awards with a Lavender d'Anvers cock and a Millefleur hen. Two lovely laminated 1930 prints by Hoyle were donated by Yvonne Bartle – one for Best d'Uccle and one for Best d'Anvers. Both these were won by Peter and Paul Williams. At the A.G.M. held after the Annual Show there was some discussion about obtaining a Club badge and Club spoons. It was decide that, as the Club funds were low, the purchase of spoons should be deferred and the matter of a badge be followed up. Club Secretary, Paul Williams, then reported that the Club had 10 new members. It was also decided to alter the membership year so that annual subscriptions became due as at the date of the Annual Show.
The 1993 Annual Show, held at Castle Hill Showground on the 27th June saw a total of 180 birds (72 d'Uccle, 102 d'Anvers & 6 de Watermael) on display. They were judged by Alex Cheetham who, on the whole, was pleased by the line-up. This was the Club's 10th Anniversary Show. The Champion d'Uccle was a Millefleur cock owned by Paul Williams. The Champion d'Anvers was a Black Cockerel also owned by Paul Williams. The Champion de Watermael was a Black Cock owned by John Hamilton. This was the first time the de Watermael were exhibited.
The 1993 A.G.M. opened with a minute of silence for Peter Williams who passed away on 17th January. The Club Secretary reported that nine new members had joined during the year, but there was a further loss of older members, who had not been heard from in some time. Subscription fees were discussed and it was decided to leave them at $5-00, but to review the matter annually. There was quite a discussion on judges and judging, particularly with regards to the Club's Annual Show. The matter of a Club badge was again discussed and another design agreed upon. Paul Williams and Judy Wallis were to look into it and report back to members via the Newsletter.
The 1994 Annual Show, held on 9th July at Fairfield Showground, had a total of 220 entries, exhibited by 14 members. The judge was Ken Bergin. The Champion d'Uccle was the Millefleur hen of Paul Williams and the Champion d'Anvers the Quail hen of John Hamilton. Gerry Coady won best de Watermael with a pullet. Paul Williams has donated a magnificent trophy for "Best Cuckoo" in memory of his late brother, Peter. It was quite fitting that it was then won by Paul with a d'Anvers hen.
At the A.G.M. held after the 1994 Annual Show, held on 9th July, there was much discussion on whether the Club should have an Australian patron, rather than Veronica Mayhew, Secretary of the British Belgian Bantam Club. Miss Mayhew was quite honoured to hold the position, but felt she was too far away to be of any real assistance to the Australian Club. Gerry Coady commented that there were too many colour classes and that A.O.C. should apply with classes only being added if there were sufficient entries. Paul Williams said that as a specialist Club we must cater for all colours, as where else can members show their birds if not at their own Club show. Gerry also said it was an affront to the judges to have first place prize cards turned inwards and a motion was passed they be left face out in future. The annual subscription fee was to remain at $5-00, with the Club Secretary, Paul Williams, asking more people donate trophies or prize money to help keep expenses down.
The 1995 Annual Show, held at Fairfield Showground on 2nd July, was a great success with 285 entries, shown by 16 exhibitors. Champion d'Uccle was the Millefleur hen of Paul Williams and Champion d'Anvers was a Lavender hen, also owned by Paul Williams. Yvonne Bartle's hen won best de Watermael. The judge, Gary Hart, was most impressed, both with the birds and with the magnificent display, of Belgian flags, information sheets, coloured drawings and wonderful trophies.
The 1996 Annual Show was held on 7th July, at Fairfield Showground. The 235 birds exhibited were judged by Alex Cheetham. He was disappointed with some classes, feeling that type was suffering in the rush to obtain more colours. The Champion d'Uccle was a Porcelaine hen owned by Paul Williams. The Champion d'Anvers was a Black cock also owned by Paul Williams. The Champion de Watermael was owned by Gerry Coady.
The 1996 A.G.M. held on 7th July again saw much discussion on the venue for the Annual Show. Due to problems associated with moving it around, having different dates, not being able to show with another club, food organisation, etc it was decided that it should remain at Fairfield, where we have every facility and be held on the first Sunday in July each year. The motion was carried. Due to rising costs, especially with regards printing the Newsletter it was suggested that the yearly subscription be raised to $10-00 for full membership and $5-00 for juniors. This would enable four Newsletters to be published each year. An amendment was made to the Constitution regarding bestowing life membership.
The 1997 Annual Show had two judges, Brian Dukes from Engadine (d'Uccle) and Scott Hayhoe from Tharwa (d'Anvers) and was held at Fairfield Showground on 6th July. There were 315 birds shown by 17 exhibitors. On the whole the judges were pleased by the birds on show, though felt some could have been better prepared. The Best d'Uccle was a Millefleur Cock owned by Matthew Old and the Best d'Anvers was Paul Williams’ Black Hen.
Andrew Rathbone (President) and Irene Hannan (Secretary/Treasurer/Editor)
Both elected at the 1997 Annual General Meeting on 6th July
The first coloured pictures ever printed in our Club
Newsletter were a feature of the August, 1997 edition, thanks to the Club's new
Secretary/Treasurer/Editor, Irene Hannan, and her computer. There were three in all, showing us the major
prize winners and a group photo. The quality of the whole Newsletter was of a very high standard.
Below: the wonderful array of prizes at the 1997 Annual Show.
The first definite proposal regarding producing our
own Breed Handbook, with the costs involved was published in the November, 1997
Newsletter. Irene Hannan has undertaken
the task of doing the research and will put something together to present to
Club members. It will be a mammoth
undertaking but well worth the effort.
The Club also had the first High School, St Columba's of Springwood,
join the Club. The school hopes to set
up a student breeding program using Belgian bantams.
In 1998 the Sydney Royal Show was held for the first time at Homebush. After viewing the new Poultry Pavilion, most members agreed it was definitely better than the old one, at least from the birds' point of view. The only thing lacking, according to some, was a sufficient amount of seating and "the atmosphere". However, that will surely come in time.
The 1998 Annual Show was held at Fairfield Showground on 5th July and judged by Gavin Woods. There were 318 birds (152 d'Uccle, 156 d'Anvers, 6 de Watermael & 4 in the Junior class) entered by 14 exhibitors. Gavin was pleased with the line-up, though thought some of the birds were getting far too large. The Champion d'Uccle was a Millefleur Cock owned by Paul Williams. The Champion d'Anvers was a Lavender Hen owned by Irene Hannan and the Champion de Watermael was a Black Hen owned by Jeff Reed.
The 1998 Annual Show Trophies
Left: Champion d'Anvers
Right: Champion d'Uccle (Paul Williams)
Below: Champion de Watermael
(decorated emu egg) and
Champion Junior (two mugs)
The Club had quite a few interstate members, from Victoria and Queensland
(plus our judge, Gavin Woods, from South
Australia), at the 1998 Annual Show. Most said they would definitely return next
year. There was also a photographer, Ron
Wilton (one of our Club members), taking photos of the class winners for
inclusion in the proposed Club Handbook.
The A.G.M. saw quite a bit of discussion regarding new colours, and how
to register them. The Club Secretary was
asked to look into the procedure. It was
also decided to increase Annual Show entry fees for non-members from $1-00 to
$1-50, to encourage more membership from Belgian breeders.
In July, 1998 we were saddened to learn of the death of one of our founding members, Doug McKenzie, who died while on a weekend visit to the Hunter Valley to exhibit his birds. Doug had just recently donated some early items of interest back to the Club, including some photos and the judge's ribbon he wore while judging the very first showing of Belgians in Australia.
September, 1998 saw the outbreak of Newcastle Disease at three poultry farms, two quite close to metropolitan Sydney. Quarantine areas were set up and all birds thought to be infected were destroyed. Due to the prompt action of various Government Departments, the outbreak was contained and no other birds were affected.
After yet another outbreak of Newcastle Disease in the Mangrove Mountain area, just north of Sydney, the 1999 Annual Show was very reluctantly cancelled by the Committee. The risk to the birds was just too great to go ahead and hold the show. Many other poultry shows were also cancelled as the quarantine and buffer zones around the affected area were extensive. The current executive Committee will remain the same for the next twelve months.
Belgians were shown at Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane's Royal Shows in 1999 with Club members doing quite well in the results. Hopefully, in future there will be more classes to encourage further growth at these shows. This is where we have a chance to show large numbers of people our beautiful birds.
The Club is becoming truly "Australia wide". We now have members in all states except the Northern Territory and our membership has almost reached ninety, including seven junior members. Interest in Belgian Bantams is growing rapidly, so we can only hope for bigger and better things to come.
The year 2000 was quite an important one for the
Club. The long awaited “Handbook of the
Belgian Bantam Club of Australia” was finally published and made available for
sale in March. This was indeed a major
achievement and a credit to all the people who spent so much time and effort
(several years in fact) on the project.
Special thanks must go to our Club Secretary, Irene Hannan, who
undertook the enormous task of researching and sorting through all the available
information, then putting it together into an informative and readable
book. Well done!
The 2000 Annual Show was held at the Castle Hill Showground on Sunday 2nd July. It was judged by Stuart Fraser. There were 358 entries for 365 birds, shown by 21 exhibitors - 171 d'Uccle, 151 d'Anvers, 16 de Watermael, 7 pairs and 13 in the Junior section. The Champion d'Uccle was a Cuckoo cockerel owned by Paul Williams. The Champion d'Anvers was a Blue Quail cock owned by Paul Williams and the Champion de Watermael was a Blue Quail hen owned by Mrs Laurie Porter. It was decided to use two judges in future due to the larger number of birds now being exhibited.
Belgians are now becoming increasingly popular and demand for the birds is rising steadily all over Australia. Club membership has also increased to well over 100, with members in every state. NSW still has the most, followed by Victoria and Queensland. The members at the 2000 A.G.M. also voted to increase membership to $15 for adults and $7 for juniors to keep pace with increasing costs, mainly concerned with publishing the quarterly Newsletter.
Our first official Victorian Show was held on 20th August, 2000 at Bendigo. Paul Williams travelled down from Tamworth to judge it. There were 131 birds shown by 13 exhibitors. There was a lot of interest in the birds and the show was such a success it has been decided to make it an annual event. Many thanks to Khris and Carol Abuid for organising and running it. They also took out Champion Bird of Show with their Quail d’Uccle hen.
At the second annual field day held on 4th November, 2000 at the home of Paul Williams and Jeff Reed the new “Judge’s Kit” was launched. This 50 page A4 booklet was put together by our Club Secretary, Irene Hannan, and is designed to be a complete instruction kit for judging Belgian bantams. It contains a full Standard, list of faults, judging sheets, many B&W diagrams, a step-by-step guide to judging the birds and several very informative articles. This is essential reading for the serious breeder as an aid to selecting which birds to show and a must for both the novice and experienced judge. Quite a few members spent an enjoyable morning judging various classes of birds using the booklet and were most surprised at the results in some cases.
Above: Paul Williams (at the Field Day) holding the
Club's Perpetual Shields for the d'Anvers and d'Uccle
Some of the Club members at the Field Day giving
the new "Judge's Kit" a good test run
Irene has also compiled another booklet entitled “History of the Belgian Bantam Club”. This is also an A4 sized booklet and contains an enormous amount of information which couldn’t be included in the Handbook due to lack of space. As she had all the information from researching the Handbook, it seemed a shame to waste it all. The booklet contains historical data, all the Annual Show class results and full A.G.M. minutes, interesting articles from previous Newsletters, many B&W photos & illustrations and much more.
2001 saw an increase in the number of clubs providing individual colour classes for Belgian Bantams. Many are now even starting to hold Belgian Feature Shows. This is very encouraging and a sure sign that the birds are now accepted throughout Australia. All we need to do now is educate the judges!
There was also an incident at the Sydney Royal Easter Show where a Lavender Mottled d’Uccle hen (named Molly) owned by one of our junior members, Emma Castles, was stolen from her on 17th April. The Daily Telegraph picked up on the story, interviewed Emma and subsequently ran a feature story in the paper about the theft and appealing for the return of the bird. This generated quite a bit or publicity and was even featured on several Sydney radio stations and on 23rd April a man called Emma’s mother saying he knew the location of the bird and that he had identified it by the leg ring. She was duly handed over to the Daily Telegraph, who passed her on to the RAS, who returned her to Emma. Molly seemed none the worse for her ordeal and was happy to have Emma pick her up and cuddle her so the Daily Telegraph could take some photos of the happy reunion. They subsequently ran another article in the newspaper.
The official Belgian Bantam Club of Australia Website was finally finished. Our heartfelt thanks must go to Club member Stephen Miller, who designed and set up the site for us. He has done a fantastic job. There is a lot of information, photos, etc on the many pages contained within the site. These include a full Standard and Colour Standard, information about the birds, colour photographs from Australia and overseas, a Club merchandise page, membership application form, details of the different types and colours available here in Australia and a Noticeboard.
The new de Watermael booklet was finally finished and available for sale. Many thanks to our Club Secretary, Irene Hannan, for all the time and effort she put into it, especially considering that most of the content was in languages other than English. It was difficult to access the information and obtain permission to use it all. A lot of people were involved in the translating and compiling of information and it is a very informative booklet of 63 A4 pages. It also contains all information available to date on the development of the birds here in Australia. There are many B&W drawings and photos, plus several pages of full colour photographs of birds from Australia and overseas.
The 2001 Annual Show was held at the Castle Hill (Sydney) Showground on Sunday 1st July. There were 429 birds shown by nineteen exhibitors. The 180 d’Anvers and 29 Junior entries were judged by Graham Finlay. The 199 d’Uccle and 50 de Watermael were judged by Bruce Raines. Our special guest was Megg Miller (“Australasian Poultry” and “Grassroots” magazines) who came up from Victoria to be in attendance for the weekend. Megg also presented the prizes. One of our new Club members, Bill Hyndes, flew up from Tasmania to attend the show and purchase birds to take back home with him.
There was a good display of Faverolles and Brahmas exhibited and the Brahma Club of Australia was formed on the day by a group of interested people. The Champion d’Uccle was a Porcelaine hen owned by Carolyn Shannon. The Champion d’Anvers was a Quail hen owned Neville Woods and the Champion de Watermael was a Quail pullet owned by Jeff Reed.
Major awards for the 2001 Annual Show
Three lovely dinner sets
One each for d'Uccle, d'Anvers and de Watermael
2002 saw several changes occurring. The Club’s Annual Show (after much deliberation) was moved from Castle Hill to Wyong. The Central Coast Poultry Club offered us the use of their modern pavilion (free of charge) situated within the grounds of the Wyong racecourse. It is definitely a much better facility than the Castle Hill venue and they will also cater for us on the day of the show, which is an added bonus. The date was also changed, being moved back one week so any members wishing to show at both the Belgian and Rare Breed Shows will not be disadvantaged.
The Club’s official web site was handed over to the Club Secretary, Irene Hannan, who agreed to give it a permanent home and look after it. The address is now: http://www4.tpg.com.au/channan. There was also a chat room set up on the internet by Club member, Angela Watson, for all those who just love to talk about their birds.
Club member Neville Woods hosted a Field Day at his home in Cabramatta on Sunday 24th March, 2002. Unfortunately there were not a lot of people in attendance, despite earlier promises. Those who did attend had a fabulous day with lots of birds to look at and discuss, plus plenty of food and drink. Neville also donated a wonderful dried flower arrangement to use as a raffle prize. This was won by Tom Sherwood.
We were saddened to learn of the death of one of our Club members, Gary Richards, who lived at Thorneside in Queensland. Many of you will remember Gary from the 2001 Annual Show where he provided the prize money for the Porcelaine classes and added a donation towards the major prizes as well. Gary said the highlight of his trip south to visit the Show and purchase birds was winning first prize in the raffle - the pair of lovely Millefleur statues made and donated by Jane Adams.
On the morning of Sunday 28th April our Club Secretary, Irene Hannan, was interviewed live on air during the “Sunday Show” on ABC radio. The interview ran for over fifteen minutes and appeared to be quite a success. Irene’s phone ran hot for the rest of the day with people enquiring about the birds and the Club.
The 2002 Annual Show was held on Sunday 30th June at the Central Coast Poultry Club’s pavilion located within the grounds of the Wyong Racecourse. The d’Uccle, d’Everberg and Juniors were judged by David Simons from Caboolture, Qld. The d’Anvers and de Watermael were judged by Scott Hayhoe from Tharwa, ACT. There were 424 birds shown by 22 exhibitors. This total was 195 d’Uccle, 177 d’Anvers, 31 de Watermael, 2 d’Everberg and 19 junior entries. The Champion d’Uccle was a Cuckoo pullet owned by Featherdowns (D & S Baker). The Champion d’Anvers was a Quail hen owned by mother and son, Janine & Liam Turner. The Champion de Watermael was a Quail hen owned by Mrs Laurie Porter.
Interest in Belgian bantams continues to grow with
2002 seeing an increasing number of Belgian features shows held in several
states, especially Queensland, with shows at Allora and Greenbank being worthy
of note. The Club also continues to grow
with numbers increasing in all states, especially Tasmania. Membership numbers even reached 140. In fact, Bill Hyndes, from Tassie, was
elected our new Club President at the 2002 Annual General Meeting of the Club.
Our first show at Wyong in June 2002 was a resounding success. The bird numbers were similar to 2001, but with more exhibitors, which is a very pleasing trend, especially as it was the first show outside the Sydney metropolitan area. The Central Coast Poultry Club members were incredibly helpful throughout the entire weekend. Not only did they assist Irene with the setting up (even providing the shavings), they were on hand all weekend for catering and even did the cleaning up afterwards! A massive thank you must go to all concerned. Once again the Brahma Club of Australia held their Annual Show in conjunction with ours.
The 2002 A.G.M. saw a discussion on the entry fees charged at Club shows. The general view was that there are very few shows these days where entry is still $1-00. It was noted that in some areas it is as high as $2-50 at ordinary poultry shows. Various increases were suggested but the meeting settled on $1-25 for members, $2-00 for non-members and entries in the junior section to stay at 50 cents. The issue of reducing the cost for larger numbers was then debated and a motion passed that anyone entering more than 30 birds would have all their entries reduced to $1-00 per bird.
In 2002 various new items of merchandise were added to that already available including Club T-shirts, sew on patches and Club spoons. Irene put another booklet together due to the high demand for more information about breeding Belgian bantams. It was entitled “A series of articles dealing with breeding and genetics” and was an 84 page A4 booklet dealing with some specific Belgian topics, some extracts from the Club Handbook, and some general articles. The information was obtained from both Australian and overseas sources. Some of the material is historical but still quite relevant to the birds bred today. It is a very comprehensive and informative booklet.
The Club’s 2002 Victorian Show was a resounding success, with people and birds coming from all over Victoria to attend. Our Club Secretary, Irene Hannan, even made the trek south for the first time and was warmly welcomed by all who attended. This also gave the Victorian Club members the chance to view and buy all sorts of Club merchandise and publications. There were a total of 103 birds (63 d'Uccle, 15 d'Anvers, 4 de Watermael, 20 juniors and 1 d'Everberg) shown by nine exhibitors. The birds were judged by Phil Pickles from Junortoun, Victoria. He commented they were a mixed bunch, ranging from very good, well prepared birds to some quite scrappy ones which were definitely not good type. It was very pleasing to see so many birds exhibited by our junior members. The overall Champion was the White d’Uccle hen owned by David Boyde.
As 2003 was our Club’s 20th Anniversary year plans were made to make the 2003 Annual Show one of the best. Irene contacted both the Belgian Embassy in Canberra and the Belgian Consulate in Sydney to ask for suitable donations. Club members were also urged to make a donation of either cash, trophies or prizes. Many responded. Jim Finger, from Bellsouth, also agreed to attend the Annual Show. He gave a talk on the Friday night and also had quite a range of products available for sale over the weekend.
Copies of the original print run of the Club’s Handbook were running low so it was decided to do a reprint using the existing colour section, but updating some of the information and adding several new articles.
The 2003 Annual Show held at Wyong on 29th June saw 379 birds (185 d’Uccle, 126 d’Anvers, 35 de Watermael and 33 junior entries) shown by 23 exhibitors. This number included 5 juniors, some of whom also showed in the open section. It was a resounding success with Club members from NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australian attending. There were many more birds available in the sale section as well. There were more donated prizes and trophies than required so the raffle prizes were extended and several other prizes held over to be used at the 2003 Club Victorian Show. Once again the Brahma Club of Australia held their Annual Show in conjunction with ours. The Champion d’Uccle was a Porcelaine hen owned by Carolyn Shannon. The Champion d’Anvers was Neville Woods’ Quail hen and the Champion de Watermael was a Quail hen owned by Mrs Laurie Porter.
Our 20th Anniversary Show - some of the trophies and prizes
The 2003 AGM saw quite a lot of discussion on entry fees for our Club shows and also on the fee charged for birds placed in the sale section. It was decided to leave the relative prices as is, but discuss it again at the 2004 AGM. Other items discussed were leg rings on birds at Club shows and the use of leg rings in general as a marking device. A motion was also put to make a change to the Colour Standard regarding the leg colour of white birds. The problem of having perpetual trophies returned to the Club before the following Annual Show was also discussed.
The 2003 Victorian Show was another resounding success with 108 birds (84 d’Uccle, 21 d’Anvers and 3 de Watermael) entered in the open section by eleven exhibitors, including Bill Hyndes from Tasmania and Irene Hannan from NSW. In the junior section there were 21 birds entered by Giles Campbell-Wright (Point Cook, Vic), Shawn Ashton (Werribee, Vic), Cameron Wilson (Corowa, NSW) and Dan Ryan (Finley, NSW). All the junior entries were d’Uccle. This made a total of 129 entries. The judge was Lance Muddell. The Champion Belgian was the Quail de Watermael pullet owned by Khris and Carol Abuid.
February 2004. The Handbook reprint has finally been done and paid for and we’ve already sold three copies. In order to finance the next reprint with (hopefully) new colour photographs the price has been increased to $49-50. This was done by a vote of the Committee after much heated discussion. The vote was 3-2 in favour of $49-50. We have also opened a second cheque account to bank all money received from Handbook sales. This will keep those funds separate from the day-to-day cheque account. There are still 100 of the original colour sections left so we will have the option of a further reprint or a completely new colour section, depending on circumstances and price once this one is sold.
The 2004 Annual Show was held at Wyong on 27th June. The number of birds was down a bit this year, but that was to be expected as our 2003 20th Anniversary Show saw members making a special effort that is unlikely to be repeated. Several previous exhibitors could not attend this year, but that was far outweighed by the number of new members exhibiting their birds for the first time at a Club Show. Several other members (me included) reduced the number of birds exhibited this year, as it was just too much work. We also voted to award a Champion Belgian Overall at this and future Annual Shows. This year it was won by Neville Woods with his Quail d’Uccle hen. He also won the bottle of whisky, a broad sash and the “loan” of the new perpetual trophy for a year. It is this lovely watercolour painted by Paul Williams.
At the 2004 Annual General Meeting the new Club Constitution and Rules of Conduct was adopted. Irene spoke of the various reasons for compiling the new Constitution and Rules of Conduct and after a short discussion by the members it was motioned Ron Kilgour/David Simons that it be adopted as the official Constitution and Rules of Conduct for the Club and that it would become effective immediately – carried.
The 2004 Victorian Show held at Bendigo in August was another good day with some very good birds being presented. It was very pleasing to see three NSW exhibitors make the journey down south and also one exhibitor from Tasmania make the trip over to the mainland. It is a huge commitment to attend interstate shows as you are away from home for days which means there must be arrangements made to keep your home running smoothly. The animals can't feed themselves. So once again we thank for making the effort and bringing your birds.
Seven breeders entered a total of 26 birds at the 2004 Royal Melbourne Show this year. Royal Shows and large Regional Shows are such wonderful places for exposure of our birds with the amount of people who walk through the shed stopping to look at them. We encourage all members to enter birds at these shows as we always get a lot of inquiries about the birds as a direct result of people seeing them at the show. Sometimes the shows are held at inconvenient times of the year (Melbourne is held when the birds should all be in the breeding pens) but even if you just show your spare roosters that would be something.
November 2004. Irene has recently put together another booklet to add to the Club’s collection. This one is called “Preparing Your Poultry For Exhibition”, is 56 pages in the usual A4 size. Some of the content is from Chapter 10 of the Handbook, there are drawings of good and bad points of birds from the Judge’s Kit and I’ve also included a full copy of the Australian Standard and Colour Standard. The rest is a series of articles, mostly from Australian authors, but including a couple from the USA. They do things differently over there, but the information is still relevant. There are also well over 60 B&W photos and drawings of show quality birds scattered throughout the booklet. It costs $13-00, including postage in Australia. If you want more details of the actual contents of the booklet before purchasing please just ask.
Along those lines, here is the list of the various Club publications now on offer. All prices include postage. For full information on these, or any other Club merchandise, look on the website or just ask her to post you the list.
(a) Handbook of the Belgian Bantam Club of Australia - $52-50
(b) History of the Belgian Bantam Club of Australia 1983-2003 (A4 and 116 pages) - $15-00
(c) A Series of Articles Dealing with Breeding and Genetics (A4 and 84 pages) - $13-00
(d) A Series of Articles Dealing with Disease and Disease Diagnosis (A4 and 82 pages) - $13-00
(e) Preparing Your Poultry for Exhibition (A4 and 56 pages) - $13-00
(f) Information Kit for Judges (and Breeders) of Belgian Bantams (A4 and 40 pages) - $13-00
(g) The Belgian Bantam Club of Australia Colouring Book (A4 and 28 pages) - $6-00
(h) The Barbu de Watermael (A4 and 63 pages – includes colour photos) - $15-00
(i) The full Minutes of all the Belgian Bantam Club of Australia Annual General Meetings (A4 and 34 pages) - $6-00
(j) The Australian Standard and Australian Colour Standard - $3-00 (or free to any registered judge)
The Club’s 2004 Victorian Show was held on Sunday 15th August at Bendigo. The judge was Graham Smith from Bendigo and the stewards were Louise Wilson and Wayne Ashton. There were 150 birds entered for the show (75 d’Uccle, 37 d’Anvers, 3 de Watermael, 1 AOV and 34 in the Junior Section). Unfortunately, due to various circumstances, not all actually managed to make it to the show on the day. The exhibitors (in no particular order) were: Shawn Ashton (Junior), Giles Campbell-Wright (Junior – but absent on the day), Cameron Wilson (Junior), Carolyn Shannon, David Boyde, Louise Wilson, Donna McKinlay, Joan Jenkins and Khris & Carol Abuid. Bill Hyndes came over from Tasmania and there were also three exhibitors from Sydney – Norman Ironside, Allan Preston and Neville Woods.