BCNSW - History

1949 was a very important year for Boxers in Australia. On the 13th December at the Gordon (Sydney) home of Mr & Mrs Gerardy (Park Royal Kennels) the first Boxer Club was formed under the banner of 'The Boxer Club of Australia'. The following people were present: Gerardys, Arthurs, Heaths, Spilsteads, Smalls, Gleesons, Thompsons, Spiers and Swales. Bill Spilstaed, well known by many of us, was in the chair. The constitution was adopted and office bearers elected. These were: Mrs Gerardy (President), Miss Thompson and Mr Symonds (Vice Presidents), Mr Arthur (Secretary), and Mr Heath (Treasurer). The head office of the Union Bank was chosen as the bankers. A point Score competition was discussed and introduced using the Great Dane Club's scoring system. The point score, besides providing a trophy for a winner, also awarded a trophy for the most successful second prizewinner! The point score idea hasn't changed a great deal since this time and continues to this day.

As with most dog clubs, the Boxer Club of Australia's major interest was in the running of shows. At an early meeting, the Club resolved to donate trophies for Sydney Royal Best of Breed, Best Puppy and Best Limited. At the 1951 Sydney Royal, Boxers had the second largest trophy list after Irish Setters for an entry of 32! Sydney Royal was, and still is, an important show on the Australian Calendar. It may, therefore, be of interest to take a look at this show in the early years of Boxers.

Boxers were first exhibited at the Sydney Royal in 1949. The judge was well known British dog man, Mr Leo Wilson. There were 6 imported dogs shown. In 1950, under Mr Percy Roberts of the USA, 20 dogs were exhibited and the first Australian prefix appeared, this was 'Park Royal' owned by Mrs Rena Gerardy, Mr Mansell of Mosman also exhibited, his 'Cheltenham' prefix was to become quite influential.

Other exhibitors included Miss Thompson, Mrs Gunn and Mr & Mrs Dove of Campsie. In 1953, more local prefixes graced the R.A.S. shows, including 'Wyreema', Rexleigh', and the very influential 'Tarakani' owned by Mrs M Jones. The Club's long time Treasurer, Mrs Aussell showed for the first time. In the early 50's Mr & Mrs H Spira began a renowned era in canine affairs showing a 'Cheltenham' bitch. Dr Spira Bv. Sc. had become a member of the Club in August 1950. He was later to become a long time Patron of the Club. In 1956 Mr Wilton-Crowe, the importer of a number of English dogs, exhibited for the first time. The entry at Sydney Royal gradually increased. By 1958, Mr Roberts (USA) in a repeat judging performance had 74 dogs to judge. In this year, Mr D Taylor, who became a life member, and well known all-breeds judge, Mr D Glackin ('Crucin' prefix) first exhibited.

Other exhibitors who were to come to prominence in the late 50's and early 60's included Mr & Mrs R Townshend ('Lorac'), Mr & Mrs T Dobson ('Wawnhill'), Mr F Wearn ('Franzlaine'), Mr & Mrs L Williamson, Mrs N Evans ('Innsbruck') and Mr P Foster ('Boxhaven') in 1963. Apologies to any missed.

The first show the Boxer Club of Australia was involved with was a joint effort when they combined with the three Breed Committee (formed by the Collie, Great Dane and German Shepherd enthusiasts). This show was held on the 3rd June, 1950. Another show was held in August the same year with Mr Spilstead as Show Manager. The venue was at Rockdale and the judge (who kindly declined a fee) was Mr Witton. The raffle successfully raised eight pounds! Two Championship shows were approved by the RASKC for 1951. These were on the 19th May and 6th October, with the judges being Mr Spilstead and Mr Witton. A Parade was introduced in 1953. Judges at Club shows in the early 50's included Mrs Fitzgibbon, Mr Hill and Mrs Gerardy, interestingly a number of these judges had numerous appointments during this time. In 1956 Mr L DeGroen judged a Club Championship show which provides another link to the present.

These judges had the opportunity to judge many of the early imports. These dogs were predominately from England, with the occasional American influence. UK kennels who sent stock 'Down Under' included Tirkane, Panfield, Cuckmere, Stainburndorf, Gremlin and Wardrobes. Dogs of note to hit NSW included the well known Eng. Ch Panfield Tango, Panfield Flash and the American Fireball of Emetar by Mrs Gerardy. Ch Stainburndorf Rusty Pierre was imported by Mrs J Rees of the 'Casa Verdi' prefix. Mr Wilton-Crowe imported two Wardrobes dogs, Ranch Mink and Red Ribbons. Mr D Glackin imported Ardenoak Stirrup of Arnogar followed by the legendary Ch Wardrobes Morning Cantor who sired so many winners in the late 60's.

As the 60's progressed many other UK kennels sent dogs to Australia. These included Marbelton, Cherryburton and Seefeld.

A major concern of the young Club was fundraising. The Club began with a little over one pound, and fund raising raffles were organised at the second Club meeting. The first few raffle prizes were a cake, a bottle of Scotch and 50 cigarettes. By the October 1950 meeting, the Club had a balance of 27 pounds and 11 shillings. At regular intervals the Club had to seek new venues for meetings. In the first 10 years the Club moved from Mrs Gerardy's home, to Lovejoys Lending Library, to the Sydney Bridge Club, to the Railway Institute and the Glebe Town Hall.

Over the first 10 years members dealt with a number of ideas and issues which are still discussed today. At the November 1950 meeting an idea was suggested to establish a record book of Pedigree Boxer Dogs owned and bred in Australia. It is a pity this record (if it began) has not been passed on over the years. The idea of an Annual Ball was put forward in 1954. A sub-committee was formed. Lack of support meant that it nearly didn't run, but due to the untiring efforts of Mrs Gerardy and Mrs Mansell it was a resounding success with 107 people attending.

Throughout the first decade there was much discussion over the Club's name. Although when the Club was formed there was no other Boxer Club in Australia, there were areas of dissent. As early as March 1950, the Victorian KC requested the RASKC to eliminate the word 'Australia' from the Club's name. The Secretary of the Boxer Club was empowered to write a letter of defence against this action. In April of the same year, a letter was received from the RASKC recommending the 'NSW' be inserted in brackets under the word 'Australia'.

The original name remained however until 1960. In that year, the pressure from controlling State bodies and individual members saw a move to alter the Club's name. In June 1960 Mr Breety moved a motion that the word 'Australia' be deleted and replaced with 'NSW'. The motion was defeated by 13 votes to 9. However, in November, 1960, Mr R Aussell again moved the motion, which was carried unanimously. So was born the BOXER CLUB OF NSW.

Mark Johnston
Boxer Club of NSW

Contact Details

Secretary - Mrs Samantha Dell
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Email : [email protected]