The Far North Coast All-Game poultry show at Lismore over the weekend was intended to celebrate the contribution of two greats and in the end drew more than 700 entries from all over northern NSW and south-east Queensland.
Old English Game breeder Winfried Klepp, formerly of Brunswick Heads and Pit Game specialist Sid Dwyer, once from Maclean, were benchmark competitors who loved to share their passion with other members of this speciality bird club.
In the end club chief steward, Ted Vaughan of Raleigh, came away with a trifecta - taking out champion, reserve and champion opposite sex of all the hard feather birds in what was a rare judgement for the club and the first time in 50 years that such a clean sweep took place.
Best Old English Game was a grey, part of the feature breed of the show, won by Andrew Whiteside, Maclean, who was given this bird by the late Mr Klepp who was, himself, extremely passionate about the grey variety and used to help many a breeder with a gift.
“Sometimes those birds he gave away came back and beat his own entries,” recalled club treasurer Ross Robinson, Lismore.
Best bantam went to Robbie Monement, Brisbane with judges Brian Kennedy, Evans Head and Armidale, Troy Hocking, Atherton Tablelands, Qld, Geoff Gibson, Yangan Qld and Kim Hamilton, Wauchope, concurring on quality.
The turnout was excellent, considering the great breeders like Klepp, Dwyer and another Clarence stand-out Ray Connors were not there with multiple birds. And the talent on show was magnificent, even if this winter has been too warm on the coast to encourage moult and new feather growth.
Steward Ian McGoldrick, Willawarrin via Kempsey, was pleased with the numbers and he was proud his son Flynn showed such strong interest in Australian and Malay Game birds. Flynn, certainly the youngest breeder in the pavilion at Lismore, was seen helping the judges collect data on prime contenders for top place.
The Lismore show ground poultry sheds have been renewed, following substantial flood damage from Cyclone Debbie in 2017, when the Wilsons River covered the cages almost to the ceiling. Labour to do the job came from members of the public who owed their community a favour - courtesy Corrective Services NSW.
Chief steward Mr Vaughan reckons the pavilion is now second best in the state - just behind Macksville’s new facility.
But renewing membership is another thing. Like all community clubs, the poultry community is finding it hard to attract new members, especially the younger ones who are awfully fond of their screens.
In spite of the movement away from clubs in general the poultry game remains still strong, with Lismore hosting a Rhode Island show last week and next weekend there will be a Pekin show.
If anyone is interested in acting as secretary for the Far North Coast All Game club please contact club president John Gibson on 0402 128 313.