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Chairman’s Page March 2019
Looking back over previous columns from last year I see that many subjects are repeatedly in the news. We still seem to be no further forward with a Brexit decision, and until we know what is going to happen we cannot advise or write about its impact on bird shows, and the buying, selling, or exchange of birds across the European Union. We just have to hope that our politicians can put aside their personal ambitions and work together for the good of the country!
Working together for the good of The Parrot Society is certainly something that your Trustees do well. Last month’s first Council Meeting of this year was a constructive session, with decisions on the optimal management of the Society’s funds, and a move to a new office following the expiration of the current lease at the end of March. Our shows and events for this year were planned and discussed, with ideas for developing display aviaries showcasing various parrot species to the public. This was trialed with Pionus parrots and Parrotlets at our December show, and was judged a successful draw. Many ideas for the future progress of the Parrot Society were discussed, and these will be a regular feature of future meetings.
Our Facebook page continues to reach a wider audience, with notifications of our shows and events, and various queries posted about parrots answered. We are also steadily working through the website, adding new articles and editing or re-organising older articles. If you have any thoughts or ideas for articles that you want to see – either in our magazine or on the website – then please let us know! You don’t have to have a degree in literature to contribute, if you are not confident with your writing, just send us the basic outline of what you want to say, and we can edit it for publication. Many of you have been keeping parrots for many years, and undoubtedly have interesting facts and figures, or anecdotes about your experiences. Of special interest are niche species that few other people keep or know about.
Worldwide parrot problems are ongoing, with global warming, drought, forest fires, floods and landslides, and continued destruction of native habitat seriously affecting food sources and nest sites of many endangered species. We shall continue to highlight such tragedies, and support worthwhile conservation projects where appropriate.
Meanwhile, those of you that keep parrots for breeding will no doubt have been busy preparing nest boxes and bird rooms, and setting up pairs of birds for the coming season. Good luck, and hopefully you will have some good offspring for sale or exchange at our shows later in the year.
Chairman’s Page April 2019
For the first time since it moved to the NEC, my wife and I attended Crufts Dog Show this year. We took with us our good friend, parrot enthusiast and Parrot Society colleague Vicky Hammond. We had a great day looking around and enjoying the sights, and inevitably spending money. We particularly wanted to see the breeder of our new Golden Retriever puppy, and we were lucky enough to see her dad win second place in his class as we reached the ring. We dropped Vicky back to her home early that evening, and returned back to our dogs and birds. We were devastated to receive a telephone call the following morning from Vicky’s close friend Allan to say that she had been taken ill during the evening and had died! She went into sudden cardiac arrest, and emergency services could not save her. Such an unexpected shock to us all.
Victoria (Vicky) Hammond was a long-time member of The Parrot Society UK, as well as being a leading light in the Amazona Society in its day. She was a familiar and reliable presence at many shows over the years, representing both Societies. Latterly she assisted with the Exhibition birds at the October National Exhibition. Vicky loved all animals, keeping not only several large parrots at her home in Buckinghamshire, but also a succession of dogs and a couple of Sulcata tortoises. Following the loss of her husband Clive over twenty years ago, she lived life to the full, taking trips to Africa to see Gorillas and Borneo for Orangutans.
She visited Australia with David Coombes and John Mollindinia from the Parrot Society to meet Ray Ackroyd at the start of the ‘tree-tinning’ project to preserve cockatoo nest sites. This project continues successfully to the present day, and is reported fully on our website. Vicky’s other trips included Brazil to visit the corn project for Lear’s Macaws, and in fact had another trip to South America planned for this November. She had treated herself to a new backpack in preparation for this trip while we were at Crufts.
Vicky was also active locally, with theatre groups, regular lunches and dinners with groups of friends, and an active supporter of her local U3A group. She regaled us with stories of her many eventful coach trips to theatre performances in London. Her passing was sudden and unexpected, and she will be sorely missed. Our condolences go to her friends and family.
To return to Crufts Dog Show: car parking cost £16 per vehicle per day, to both general visitors and exhibitors, and then there was a long walk or bus ride with bags and trolleys full of dogs and paraphernalia. There was certainly no privileged parking close by for exhibitors! Entry for showing was £28 or £30 per dog, while visitor entry was some £12/£13 per person per day. Just goes to show what excellent value our Parrot Society shows at Stafford County Showground are for members and visitors!
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