HISTORY OF THE WIDE BAY WORKING GUNDOG CLUB Inc.
On 27th February 1978 a special meeting of the Bundaberg Canine Club was held for the purpose of incorporating a Field Trial Section of that Club.Some twenty-six enthusiasts keen to form the Burnett Gun Dog Club but not gaining affiliation with the Canine Control Council, instead became known as the Field Trial Section of the Bundaberg Canine Club.
The venue of the first Non Slip Retrieving Trial was at Mr and Mrs Pat St’Ledgers picturesque property at Bonna on the Burnett River – an ideal location for the setting of good runs and a great camp site.
Due to the construction of the barrage on the Burnett River, we lost Bonna Road as a trialling property, but Triallers from Cairns to Casino have fond memories of this location.
We have been fortunate that although we are small in number, our members are all totally dedicated to our sport and supportive to our Club.
On 16th May, 1982, a meeting was held at Ten Mile Road, Sharon, to form the proposed WIDE BAY WORKING GUNDOG CLUB. The provisional executive was elected as follows:
PRESIDENT: Major Arthur Everingham, VICE PRESIDENTS: Don Nicol and Bill Olds, SECRETARY: Merrilyn Walsh, TREASURER: Mike Dredge and Committee existing of Elio Colasimone, Colin Groszmann, Martin Walsh, Tina Rettke, David Olds, and Mrs Eleanor Everingham. Jim Atwell was appointed Club Patron, and at that time it was on the property “BEMERSYDE”, that the majority of our N.S. Trials were held. Indeed BEMERSYDE has also been the venue of successful Utility and Spaniel Retriever Trials also.
The WIDE BAY WORKING GUNDOG CLUB was affilliated with the Canine Control Council in November, 1982.
Former member, Don Nicol was instrumental in the commencement of Field Trials in this State, and our Club was proud to be involved in the running of the first State Utility Championship Trial which incidently was judged by Don and won by member Elio Colasimone with “Sophie”, (later to become F T CH Bulkuru Ruby CD CM).
We have been unfortunate in losing many of our valued members to other towns and States, but on the brighter side we have many new members with dogs in training. It was a great boost to our Club to welcome Mr Jim Hook to our area from the North.
In recent years our Queens Birthday Weekend Trials, featuring the WIDE BAY CUP have often been run on a very pretty property which is owned by Club member John Palu and his wife Pat. John and Pat’s hospitality is appreciated by all who attend these Trials. The camping site is beautifully appointed, overlooking a very large dam which is occupied by a large variety of bird life, and surrounded by cane fields.
Originally the club organized one weekend of Retrieving Trials, one weekend of Utility Field Trials and one of Spaniel Retriever Field trials.
Today it hosts multiple Retrieving Trials and does have the capacity to run both Spaniel/Retriever and Utility Field Trials if interest exists.
A significant number dogs have gained Field Trial Championship titles and/or Retrieving Trial Championship titles while being handled by club members.
A few dogs have even won State and National Championships in Field Trials. One club member won a National Retrieving Trial Championship.
Club members have used their knowledge and experience to prepare dogs for high order work both as personal hunting companions and in competitions.