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Mr Colin Zarifi, man of mystery, dies

AFTER BEING in hospital in November and then being released to go home on December 17 it was a shock to hear of Colin's death on December 19. He was one of an ever decreasing number of characters and personalitites of the world of dogs. Having been born into a very wealthy family, Colin started with time and money to make his presence felt in the 1930s. With his beloved Nanny who was always there to keep an eye on him, a staff of 55 at one time, his variety kennel of English Setters, St Bernards, Danes, Dachshunds, Airedales, ETTs etc etc, became very well known.

In fact his interest in ETTs was still there right up to the end, with very lengthy telephone conversations between us about the breed and club of which he had been a member since 1934.

During the second world war he was secretary of Wimbledon Dog Club and ran very successful shows for charities and the war effort. Classes having quite regularly 50 to 130 entries. Evening shows had as many as 600 entries. The war over saw Colin on the General Committee of the Kennel Club in 1947 where he gave his usual witty and intelligent contribution. With usual good taste Colin decided that at this point he would retire from judging!

Having interests in South Africa, a number of years were spent there, Goldfields Showground has evidence of his contributions and then for about 18 years Monte Carlo was home.

His lengthy discussions with his two pals Leo Wilson and Raymond Oppenheimer spearheaded him into journalism, I expect there are a lot of readers who will recall his very long and intelligent analysis of whatever subject he was addressing. Seeing this elderly gent with beard, flowing hair usually with a glass of some refreshment in hand, the modern exhibitor could be forgiven for not knowing the real chap.

About four years ago Sue and I decided to take Colin back to his old house 'Coledane' in Kent, for him to have his memories refreshed and see his old friends. He was delighted to see several and also to see the dog cemetery was intact. Then in a very round about trip back, we went to his old school in Shropshire only to find his gifts of first editions of Dickens and Somerset Maughan had been lost!!

With typical logic Colin shrugged his shoulders and said "well I probably would have lost them." I have lost a very dear eccentric old friend who was fiercley independent to the very last, and would be surprised to see his like again.

Robin Searle