Club History

"Beagle Lovers, you are invited to attend a meeting at the Canine Centre, Gosnells on Wednesday 29th May 1985 at 8pm. It is hoped that this will be the inaugural meeting of the Western Australian Beagle Club. Enquiries to Mrs M Watson  Tel 296 4846"

So read the notice in The West Australian and The Sunday Times for about a month prior. There were 34 people present and a full report can be found in our records, however suffice to say that the W.A. Beagle Club was whelped!

From that General meeting our first Committee was formed and it is important that they be recorded as they had a very difficult road to tread - not all Beaglers or Breeders at that time were in favour of a Club being formed.

First President: Mrs Marion Watson Vice President: Mrs Michelle Roberts Secretary/Treasurer: Mrs Sue Courtland Committee: Mrs Heather Jeffrey, Mr Barry Courtland, Mrs Anita Browne, Mr Clive Bailey.

A second General Meeting was called for 19th June 1985, when 22 W.A. Beagle Club members attended and formally accepted the Committee and also discussed and adopted Club Constitution and Rules.

Our First Edition W.A. Beagle Club Newsletter went out in June 1985, followed in September by No 2. - what a thrill!

This first Committee was equally as enthusiastic as the present one, organising Xmas Street Parades, Fun matches, Grooming sessions and Members Competitions as well as a Point Score Competition for Top Dog and Bitch, also Fund Raising Quiz Nights and other events which are on record. It is interesting to note that the Competition for Top Dog and Top Bitch point score was open to ALL Beagles registered in Western Australia. In June 1986 the position of Secretary/Treasurer was divided and Mrs Daphne Bailey took over as Secretary, a position she held for 5 years. Daphne and her husband Clive were staunch supporters of the W.A. Beagle Club, (note that Clive was on that first committee) helping setting up Displays at the Perth Royal Show. Clive served as President (1990-1991) as well as Huntmaster until the end of 1992. It was Daphne who first got the letter dated 13th June 1988, that announced we were affiliated with The Canine Association of WA effective from 13th August 1988. It was also Daphne who pushed us, for our own protection, to become an Incorporated Body and the Certificate of Incorporation No. A824140 is dated 14th March 1989. A copy of which appears in Newsletter Number 18, in May 1989.

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We held three Members Comps before we were finally granted permission to hold Our Premier Open Parade in May 1989 - 4 years after that first meeting!! This was a Landmark!! It had been a rocky road but with the staunch support of dedicated members and supporters that First Show was held with Mrs Mavis Cochrane officiating. Interesting to note that Mrs Cochrane is still one of our staunchest supporters, being Club Patron, and along with her late husband Ron donated one of our First Perpetual Trophies, purchased at The Beagle Club Centenary Show in UK. This was held in 1990, it was also a great thrill for me to represent Western Australia on the Top Table at the Centenary Dinner held at Stowe at the conclusion of this prestigious Show. That first show in May 1989 drew an entry of 34 Beagles and Best in Show went to Sligrachan Fionna with Runner up going to Sligrachan Skean Dhu.

It was in 1988 that the committee ruled that membership of the WA Beagle Club should have some Privileges not available to non-members i.e. As from 1st January 1989 Point Scores for the Top Dog and Top Bitch were awarded to MEMBERS ONLY. The Decision was also made at this time that Perpetual Trophies would only be available to Club Members. This was later clarified to read, "Only Club Members could compete for Perpetual Trophies"

It was also in 1989 that we adopted our Official Letterhead & Logo and had some badges made. The Beagle chosen was Ch Sligrachan Drumfearn. "Drum" had won the 1988 point Score, at a time when ALL Beagles were eligible and he went on to win again in 1989, and also in 1990. This logo first appeared in the Catalogue of our Premier Open Parade in 1989 along with the Aims of the W.A. Beagle Club :
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To promote the welfare of Beagles.

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To provide advice on Beagle training and to promote the Breeding of beagles for exhibition and as the family pet in accordance with the Breed Standard

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Social activities involving both dogs and owners


In 1989 we were also instrumental in the formation of the National Beagle Council, joining with NSW and Victoria. This was then affiliated with the Australian National Kennel Control with 3 member states as foundation members. Our Inaugural Championship Show was held in October 1990 with the late well-known Beagler Mrs Nancy Beaton UK officiating 
(Crouchmead Beagles).

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Over the years there have been many members on Committee who have worked tirelessly and contributed greatly to the growth of the W.A. Beagle Club. Margaret Sale was Treasurer for three years (1988-1991). Steve Guest first joined committee in 1989, finally retiring as President in 1998, due to work commitments Rochelle Gordon first served on committee 1988 and has served intermittently since then, and is still actively involved. Our Social Co-ordinator Rebecca Preston has been organising Beach Walks and other events since1995, not even the birth of baby daughter Georgina in 2001 slowed her up. Carol Herbert took over as President in 1998, having first joined us in 1991. Teri Planken, who joined us in 1998 and is now so involved in Training our Beagles, has completed the Canine Association's "Canine Good Companions" Training course and is now our qualified Instructor as well as Newsletter Editor. Joe Watson, who has served as President for some years and Heather Jones, both of whom have been there since the beginning. Heather has also served as Treasurer and Vice President. Campbell Watson who filled in as Treasurer when Margaret Sale finally left us. Heather Jeffrey was responsible for getting us into Parkerville for our walks. Heather still works at Parkerville. Erika Wallington, Jan Green, Richard Fletcher, Dianne MacDonald, Wayne Brown are just some of the names that come to mind. I'm sure that there are others - Isobelle Drudi who used to make lovely cakes for our regular Cake Stalls! The list of helpers goes on. The generous help of our Club Patrons - tireless helpers. Thank you ALL.

Marion Watson was thrilled to have Life Membership bestowed on her in 1991. Marion has served on committee continuously, first as President, then Secretary, then Treasurer, and then combining both positions in 1997/98.

I have not listed the current Committee members, this is no slight to them, and they are very dedicated and working for the betterment of our beloved Breed, encouraging responsible Beagle ownership. They are listed elsewhere and I know that with such dedication the W.A. Beagle Club can only grow and expand well into the 21st Century.

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This is intended as a brief History of the Club. We have put out 68 Newsletters since 1985. We have held 13 Championship Shows to date (2002). We have held 14 Open Shows. There have been numerous Beach Walks and walks at Parkerville as well as many social functions - both with and without the dogs!!

There has been a lot of nostalgia for me personally compiling this History, but I think that we owe a really big debt to the person responsible for prodding me to do it: LUKE PLANKEN. Luke is Teri's son; he does not show a Beagle but lives with two of them, Mesha and Cutie. Luke's expertise with modern technology has not only been of great assistance to me personally - but has moved the W.A. BEAGLE CLUB (Inc) into the realms of Cyber Space. 

This move has come at a cost to the Club however, and with mounting costs  for Domain Registration and hosting along with Webpage design and updating it was felt by the committee in early 2005 that we look around for a less expensive method of promotion.     In February 2005 the Links with Luke and Eagle Star Enterprises were terminated and an appeal went out in our Newsletter for some help and/or expertise in organising our webpage.  

This brought an immediate response from one of our non-showing members , Dennis Smith.      Dennis is responsible for what you are looking at now on this page!!    Dennis has re-designed our Webpage at NO COST TO THE CLUB!!    How wonderful is that??   He has also offered to help us reduce the cost of hosting in the future.     

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Dennis.  Please, let him know what you feel about our page, Do you like it? Let him know, there is nothing worse than spending hours on something and then spending the next few months wondering if anyone appreciates it, or has even seen it.    Take the time to sign the guest book

 

Marion Watson (2003) Founder Member WABC Inc

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