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History behind Gundog Breeds Association of Scotland

Passage from GBAS Yearbook, published in 1996,

by the late Margie Cairns

For quite some time I had been of the opinion that Scotland lacked a Gundog Association which embraced the entire Country. Of course there were other well established Gundog Societies but they were regional. Let me put the record straight. There was never the intention of impeding on their activities but, naturally, there was opposition. Nevertheless, I persevered with my thoughts and was quite determined to achieve my aim of a Gundog Group Championship Show in Scotland.

The idea was one thing but putting it into operation quite another. Obviously it was not a venture to be tackled single-handed by nor was it for the faint hearted. Where to begin! I talked at length with Eileen Ellison and after much consideration she agreed with my thoughts. The next step proved much more difficult but eventually the two of us convinced Roy Ellison to join us in this daunting project.

Between us we set the wheels in motion to form a club. Roy drafted a Constitution and we soon had in excess of 100 Founder Members. Next, I invited everyone interested to an informal meeting in my house when it was unanimously agreed by all present that we should proceed with the formation of an Association. Scottish Kennel Club was very supportive.

An inaugural meeting was held in 1977. Subject to Kennel Club approval Officials and Management Committee were elected. President Margie Cairns (Blaircourt), Vice President Jeanette Allan (Swanley), Hon. Secretary Roy Ellison (Konoboly), Hon Treasurer Eileen Ellison (Konoboly), and Management Committee consisting on one representative for each breed of Gundog, the officials and management committee to be resident in Scotland.

We were an enthusiastic group with many innovative ideas to raise funds. If we were to achieve the ambition of attaining Championship Show status it was necessary to have a good bank balance.

Eventually Kennel Club approved the application for registration. The official title granted was the Gundog Breeds Association of Scotland.

The first Open Show was held at Kinross on 19th February 1979. During the next two years the team worked even more diligently towards our ultimate goal. The adrenalin worked overtime.

Just imagine my delight when the Kennel Club granted the Association permission to hold a Championship Show in November 1981. My pipe dream had materialised in less time that I had ever imagined. Without tremendous support this would never have achieved. I have to thank everyone most sincerely for having confidence in my initial idea and for enabling me to make it all possible. For most of my life dogs have played a very important part, gundogs and in particular Labrador Retrievers, have been my main interest, therefore it gave me very much pleasure to be involved in the formation of the Gundog Group in Scotland.

It is a privilege to be President of this Association. I hope most sincerely that the high reputation which has been achieved and which we all guard so jealously will be maintained in the future year.


The late Margie Cairns

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