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Mr Tony Murray

The Boxer and Griffon worlds are very shocked and saddened indeed to hear of the passing of Tony Murray (Operastar).

Tony with his wife Barbara has bred some outstanding Griffons and Boxers over the years. They are best known for their smooth Griffons they held the breed record for smooth champions for many years, and have bred many superb specimens during the last thirty odd years.

Tony was a very private person and enjoyed staying in the background and at home looking after the dogs. He was the Chairman of the South Western Boxer Club for many years. Under his stewardship the club went from strength to strength and he will be greatly missed in this role. Tony was also a respected Championship show judge in Griffons and was known for his honesty and integrity.

Tony had many other interests outside dogs. His passion for opera, classical music, gardening and of course his parakeets were legendary. Tony also has a superb collection of opera books which he and Barbara built into a historical library which must be one of the finest in the world He was always there to lend a hand or advice to anyone who needed it. I have never known Tony to say a bad word about anyone in all the years I have known him.

He also found great joy in his love for his church and religion, to which he gave his time unstintingly. I like many more will miss his dry sense of humour and his knowledge of dogs he loved so dearly throughout his life time.

To his Wife Barbara I and I am sure the rest of the Boxer and Griffon World send our deepest sympathy our love and prayers throughout this very sad time in her life.

Chris Cray

Lionel Hamilton Renwick
- a tribute

Lionel was without doubt one of the kindest nicest men I have ever met, a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He did not have an unkind bone in his body.

Lionel, as a little boy, always wanted to have a zoo. He started this quest by gathering insects and caterpillars in a matchbox and giving them to “Nancy” to look after. The caterpillars were known as “woolly worms”. He and nanny used to shop in newcastle, where there was a special place to leave clothing, boxes, etc and Lionel often left woolly worms there. Many years later, when he became famous, the lady in charge of this collection point, phoned him and asked, “Are you the little boy who used to leave woolly worms here?”

I first met Lionel in 1993, after I had won BIS at the Hound Club of East Anglia with my Borzoi bitch, later to become Ch Yadasar Oprah. One of the committee members of that club telephoned me, asking if I knew him, as he did not know there was any one in his area who showed Borzoi and he expressed interest in meeting my dogs.

Lionel and the committee member came here and while he duly admired my dogs, I had carefully shut out my daughter’s Dobermann bitch that was living here at the time, not having met him before, I was unaware of his association with that breed. The admiration of my breed was in full swing, when some “idiot” left a door open! Lionel was by this time, sitting on the sofa with a sandwich in one hand and glass of wine in the other, the Dobermann burst in and made an over friendly assault on Lionel, the sandwich in his right hand hit the wall and his glass of wine the ceiling. Having replaced both and calmed things down, I tried to return to the subject of the Borzoi, that was not to be! “Dornie” was the sole conversation for the rest of his stay, the Borzois completely forgotten!

We became good friends after our first meeting and I used to give him lifts to the shows when it became too difficult for him to drive himself. His company, his advice and support was invaluable to me, although passed to do so, he never judged my breed in this country. He was always there to support me and never let me down.

He and his dear sister Barbara, came here often. He loved his garden and plants and he and my husband would talk for hours and show great rivalry over their datoura’s. I think Lionel won!

Lionel was a great equestrian artist. One of my nicest days out with him was taking him to the Sir Alfred Munnings exhibition at Sothebys. He had been a great friend of this famous painter and he talked me through almost every painting with little anecdotes and stories, we gathered quite a crowd around us, just listening to Lionel. I felt so proud.

In 1997, Lionel gave me one of my most treasured possessions. He had been invited to judge at the Monaco Ch Show by Prince Ranier, as a result, he was presented by Prince Ranier, a stamp of a Borzoi in a presentation folder, with the Monaco coat of arms on the front.

Lionel gave this to me, a truly wonderful remembrance of Lionel and proof of the great generosity of this wonderful kind man. Lionel brought life and happiness into all who’s path he crossed. He was without doubt one of nature’s gentlemen.

To his wonderful sister Barbara, it must be an extreme loss.

I would like to say finally, let the world of dogs, art world, spotted ponies and all fauna and flora lovers, never forget and be thankful for the life of Lionel Hamilton Renwick.

Gabrielle Slater

Caroline Harvey
- funeral details

The funeral of Caroline Harvey will be held today (Friday February 21st.) at St Peter's Church of England Church, Broadway, Woodhall Spa, Lincs at 1.00pm for 1.30pm. Everyone welcome. The family request no black clothing and family flowers only. Donations to Water Aid. The ceremony will be followed by a private ceremony for family and invited friends at Boston crematorium. After the ceremony it is suggested people meet at the Abbey Lodge in Kirkstead. Enquiries to Mike Newns 01535-656530 or Margy Pratten 0115-944 7145.

Margy Pratten