The Scottish Terrier in Australia
The Scottish Terrier Club
Report by DELLA ELLIOTT
(Extract from article published in the Scottish Terrier 50th Anniversary Souvenir Book,1987)
First imports — 1889
1987 is not only a special yearfor The Scottish Terrier Club as the 50th anniversary of its foundation, 1987 is also the centenary of the birth of the first Scottish Terrier imported to Australia.
The Scottish Terrier can claim to be one of the terrier “first fleeters”. Newspaper advertisements of the late 1 880s confirm the presence of the Scottie in Australia, and since the formation of the British Terrier Club (February 1907) Scottish Terriers have been among the exhibits at that Club’s shows
The first import was Hemsby Werfa (Ch. Dundee x Ch. Tatters II), whelped 1887, bred by Mr. H. J. Ludlow of Bromsgrove, U.K. (to whom main credit is given for popularising the Scottish Terrier south of the Border and for establishing the first kennel of real importance in England), and imported by Mr. Thorne of Victoria.
The bitch Hemsby Werfa was line bred from Splinter II (the bitch founder of Scottish Terrier Family No. 1, which has maintained its supremacy throughout the breed’s history). Splinter II’s son, Ch. Dundee, and his half-brother, Ch. Alistair, are acknowledged by all Scottie authorities as playing a leading role in the development of the breed.
Further imports came to Australia in 1889 — Lonsdale Rover and Lass of Gowrie (imported in dam, Hemsby Werfa), and the dog Hemsby Wanderer were added to Mr. Thorne’s kennels. Mr. 1. Robertson of Victoria imported the dogs Bradeston Bambour and Lonsdale Perth II, and bitches Lonsdale Cairnbaddock and Lonsdale Maid of Perth. Three of Mr. Robertson’s stock were line bred from Splinter II (See pedigrees next page).
So, the introduction of the Scottish Terrier to Australia was through sound, proven line-bred stock.
Until 1985, imports to Australia were from the United Kingdom and New Zealand; then one of our members who had been on temporary transfer to the United States on returning home brought in two American bred Scottish Terriers.
Another exciting piece of news for our breed came as we were preparing this book, the pending arrival of the first wheaten Scottish Terrier to New South Wales. Imported by Club members, this dog is an American Champion and currently in quarantine.
We cannot claim that the list of imported Scottish Terriers, see pages 14-117 mentions every member of our breed to come to Australia. We know a number have come in as family pets and there is no way to trace some of these dogs in the early years of the record. Also, the Kennel Control list does not record all imports, only those registered with the Control. However, the known list of imports is considerable — from 1889 to January 1987 we have knowledge of 188 Scottish Terrier imports, plus 29 from dams in whelp when they left England and who gave birth either en route or in Australia, a total of 217.
It is from this stock that the breed in Australia has developed. Since 1889, through the combination of planned breeding programmes of Australian-bred Scotties with the imports, our breeders have been ever in search of the perfect dog whilst realistically recognising the truth of the adage —“Whoever thinks a faultless dog to see, Thinks what ne’er was, nor is, nor e’er shall be”; it is the interesting, never-ending pursuit of the ultimate that spurs us on.
One of the earliest recorded comments we have been able to trace of the breed in Australia is from The Dog Book for Australiasia (1930) by C. Court-Rice, Canine Specialist, Professional Judge:
Eng. Ch. Laindou Lumen (1930)
“It is surprising how little ground the Scottish Terrier has made at the Antipodes, indeed one can seldom see even a fair collection outside New South Wales. At one time Victoria was the stronghold of the breed but of late years these terriers have made no progress, and more’s the pity, for there is no doubt that a sound, straight-legged “Diehard” is a game, handsome dog, and a great vermin killer. Probably no dog is so well off, size for size, for teeth, which are of enormous size, and almost invariably quite sound.
“Of course, the Scottish terrier’s short legs are not conducive to great speed, but for log country, he has hardly an equal. Of his show quality it must be said that it is not improving, except in respect of straightness of legs, a most necessary tribute. Very large prices have been paid for imported dogs recently, by Mr. H. A. Richardson of Arncliffe, N.S.W.”
The Scottish Terrier Club
The Scottish Terrier Club of Australia was founded in 1937 and has functioned continuously throughout the intervening years, although in 1960 it was forced, in order to conform with a Kennel Control ruling, to delete the “of Australia”. More on this later.
Until 1977, The Scottish Terrier Club firmly believed it was the first such club established in Australia. However, elsewhere in this publication is documentary proof of the existence in 1922 of an organisation known as “The Scottish Terrier Club of N.S.Wales”; all efforts to obtain further information on this Club have been unsuccessful.
Fortunately, in organising our 40th Anniversary we were able to re-establish contact with two of our Club founders. Their statements covering the formation of The Scottish Terrier Club of Australia in 1937 and events of the early years of the Club need no further comment here.
1945 saw the formation of The Scottish Terrier Club of Queensland, followed in 1948 by The Scottish Terrier Club of Victoria. Regrettably, the Queensland Club disbanded towards the end of the seventies; however, there is a growing group of Scottie enthusiasts again developing in that State and, perhaps, in a short time organisation will be re-established in Queensland.
Towards the end of the 1950’s a South Coast sub-committee of The Scottish Terrier Club of Australia was formed in N.S.W.; it functioned for some years and then went out of existence.
The change in the Club’s name to “The Scottish Terrier Club” was at the behest of the R.A.S.K.C. At the August 1960 General Meeting members considered a letter from the Control advising it was necessary the Club delete the words “of Australia” from its title. The Club strongly protested and advanced arguments against any such change. The R.A.S.K.C. was adamant. In a strongly worded decision the Club at its November 1960 meeting reluctantly undertook to be known for the time being as “The N.S.W. Scottish Terrier Club”; the January 1961 meeting received a letter from the R.A.S.K.C. acknowledging the change of title.
In February a notice of motion from the Committee proposed removal of the limiting clause, i.e. N.S.W., and that the Club should be known as “The Scottish Terrier Club” — it was carried unanimously. In May 1961 the General Meeting received a letter from the R.A.S.K.C. approving the new title, “The Scottish Terrier Club”.
Some detail has been given on the change of name, for it is among the most delicate subjects one can raise in The Scottish Terrier Club; older members are most zealous in guarding the Club’s place in the history of the Scottie in Australia.
This photo has been featured in a number of Club publications over the past 15 years, and appears on the Club’s pedigree forms.
The problems of the Club’s name not carrying any identification as to the state/country concerned was brought home to members during the 40th Anniversary and in 1977 a decision taken to follow the name with the identification (N.S.W., Australia). It appears there has been some reluctance to do this as a general policy. Perhaps, as a result of the matter again coming under attention, the 1977 decision will follow through all Club activities.
Club Shows and Parades
The first show organised by The Scottish Terrier Club of Australia was held in 1938. The Judge was Mr. Tom Sharpe of Victoria and, indicative of the keen interest in the Scottie, entries totalled 137. Admittedly, there were many more classes in those days and exhibits were entered in more than one event; nonetheless, 137 entries is a very high entry for our breed.
Since its first Championship Show, the Club has held many such events. In the years preceding 1939 three shows were held each year, then, as a result of an R.A.S.K.C. ruling, the Club was permitted two Champion&SHYship Shows annually (this is the maximum allowed any affiliate of the R.A.S.K.C. and the reason is obvious when the number of affiliates is taken into account). That position has carried through since 1950.
Bred by Mr. A. Mackie, owned by Mr. J. F. Walker, Sydney
Best in Show, Dalwood Home Show, 1946 — 1,100 entries.
Over the past decade Championship Show entries have been around 40-50 in the General Classes, on occasions it has been higher and on others, lower. The peak year was 1977 with our Easter Championship Show entry it 72 in the General Classes — we are hopeful that number will be surpassed it our 50th Anniversary Easter Show.
With the decreased number of Championship Shows, the Club introduced an Open Parade (February/March) and a Members Only Parade (September). In 1977 it was decided to introduce a lighter note into the February Parade by providing novelty events; this has proven successful in bringing more pet owners to these features and additional novelty items have been added from time to time, including a fancy dress event which has proven most successful and entertaining.
A further change took place in the Parade features in 1983 when a decision was taken to replace the September Members’ Parade with an Open Show, giving non members an opportunity to compete and permitting Champions to enter in Show events.
The Club is proud of its veteran Scotties and at all times endeavours to encourage members to bring their retired champions to the Easter Championship Show to participate in the Parade of Champions, and to bring all their veterans (Champions or otherwise) to take part in the Veterans Parade at the October Championship Show.
Throughout its history, the Club has been aware of the desirability of keeping in touch with members and letting them know what is happening in the Scottie world. But printing, stationery, photo copying etc. is expensive and the Club’s history also records that our communication channels are best when there are members who, either personally or through other connections, have access to reproduction facilities. It is fitting that in reviewing our first fifty years, we record the Club’s efforts in keeping members aware of its activities:
Year Book — from 1947 to the late l950s the Club produced a Year Book featuring a report of the particular year’s activities, members’ advertise&SHYments, etc. Technical production was mainly the work of two members one a typesetter, the other a printer.
Scotty Scoops — a roneod news sheet, was the next venture. Unfor&SHYtunately, we have not been able to obtain copies.
Scottie News — a roneod booklet with illustrations, commenced publication in November 1971. Produced by a member elected the Editor and some voluntary workers it appeared for a few issues and then publication ceased.
A few years elapsed and The Scottish Terrier Club Newsletter appeared with the Club’s Publicity Officer responsible for collecting material and voluntary workers carrying out the production. After starting off hesitantly, the Newsletter developed into a quarterly feature. With the additional work load involved, in 1976 the Club appointed an Editorial Committee of three, who were ably assisted by a team of enthusiastic young members, some using their artistic talent to make the production more attractive (such was the enthusiasm, that some of the members painstakingly coloured-in with biro and crayon the front cover designs of thistles and tartan decoration). Others, with small printing facilities available used their skills to produce a more attractive publication. The first edition of this improved Newsletter appeared in January 1977, and for the next few years two issues per annum were produced, one to coincide with the Sydney Royal and the other at Christmas.
Again, changes in Club members’ circumstances brought a loss of access to reproduction facilities. The Club then faced the position of a commercially produced Newsletter and decided its resources would meet the cost of one issue per annum.
From 1979 onwards our Newsletter has appeared annually for distribution at the Christmas Party and mailing to members not able to attend.
To fill the gap brought about by reduced publication of the Newsletter, in 1983 the Club decided to introduce Club Notes, prepared by the Secretary, covering the main decisions of Club meetings and news of coming events; subsequently, this duty was assigned to the Publicity Officer and has now reverted to the Secretary.
The Club is indebted to all those members who, over the years, have given their time and effort to the production of its media — an essential part of Club life and greatly looked forward to by members.
As we enter the next 50 years
In 1987, year of our 50th Anniversary, The Scottish Terrier Club is strong organisationally and numerically, a virile breed Club.
Membership totals 227 — 214 members, 3 associate members, 4 life members, 4 honorary life members and 2 junior members. As will be noted from the membership list published in this book, we have members in all states of the Commonwealth other than South Australia and the Northern Territory, some in New Zealand, one in Hawaii and one a U.S. resident, temporarily stationed in West Africa.
A number of members are keen exhibitors of the breed although the majority are pet owners.
The only area where our strength does not appear to have increased over recent years is in breeding the Scottie, for while there are new breeders others have retired from this activity.
However, breeding is not something to be entered into lightly, our Club aim is to help develop conscientious breeders, keen to improve and advance the Scottish Terrier. That is a No. 1 priority.
The Club’s financial position is healthy. We are a relatively small breed Club whose aim is not to accumulate large sums but to put back into the breed, through Club features and service to members, any surplus resulting from our activities. At the 29-1-87, the General Fund total assets stood at $2,406.33 and our Anniversary Fund at $4,887.87, of which approximately $2,500 is earmarked for production of the Souvenir Book and $1,000 towards the fare of our English judge, with the balance to cover expenses incurred during the year.
In their messages to members the Club President and Secretary have expressed thanks to members for their splendid response to Club appeals in finance raising and no further comment is required here.
In bringing this report to a close we recall the concluding remarks at the time of our 40th Anniversary —To each and all who have gone before — the crofters who developed our breed to protect their stock and property . . . the first exhibitors who braved the show ring with the “Scotch Terrier” . . . those who persevered and developed the unique “Scottish Terrier” and won the battle to have him recognised in his own right . . . to the founders of The Scottish Terrier Club of Australia and all who followed and, despite the ups and downs of the past fifty years, kept the Club alive and functioning — the members of The Scottish Terrier Club extend very deep thanks.