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Mrs Erna Conn

THE NORTHERN Toy Poodle Club was informed of the death, earlier this month, of Mrs Erna Conn of Southport.
Mrs Conn was an important figure in the poodle ring in the 1950s and 60s, showing miniatures and toys under the world famous Monmartre affix. Indeed, many of today’s stock carry Monmartre bloodlines in their pedigrees, albeit in the distant past. After ski-ing to freedom over the Alps whilst pregnant, fleeing from the Nazis, Mrs Conn and her husband Sandy settled for a while in Scotland, being great friends of Jim and Barbara Currie. Her interest in Poodles grew and many top winning miniatures and later toys were to gain their championship titles, over a hundred worldwide.

In the 1960s she became one of the founders of the Northern Toy Poodle Club and was to take over as chairman. In more recent years, her interest lay in other directions but she remained as Club President, keeping in contact and aware of events. She was quite a private person but should be remembered for her invaluable contribution to the breed in the UK.

Diane Smith, Hon Sec, NTPC

With the death of Erna Conn on 3rd March at the great age of 89 years has come the end of an era of one of the clever breeders of the past. A contemporary of other great ladies such as the effervescent Mrs Phylis Austin Smith (Braval) and Mrs Alida Monroe (Firebrave). It was my particular good fortune to have worked at various times in the late 60s and early 70s for all these great breeders.

Erna Conn was born in Lemberg which at one time was part of Poland then Austria. She spent her early childhood in Vienna where she became a leading athlete, her sports that she excelled in were long jump and discuss throwing.

She was an outstanding gymnast and was a teacher of gymnastics and skiing in her younger days. She married Sandor (Sandy) who was from Budapest in Hungary in 1937 and they were married for 47 years; he passed away in 1984 aged 79. They had two children, Peter who lives in Montreal, Canada with his family and Carla her daughter who still lives at Ainsdale, Southport.

Erna was firstly interested in Alsatians (GSD) and I believe in 1945 started breeding and formed the world famous Montmarte Kennels. The first of Mrs Conn's CC winners was Ch Firebrave Marie followed by Ch Braval Beta who where to form her foundation and from these two followed 100 miniature and toy champions. Also playing a great part in this plan was the clever choice of stud dog Faskatin Talpatina won two CCs before he died from heart worm.

the first home bred bitch title winner Ch Montmatre Miranda followed by Champions Little Mo, Marksman, Miss Muffet, Mona Lisa, Marco Polo, Maria Mine, Mastersinger, Bartat By Jing, Marvellous, Madcap, Sweet Martine, Minoloche, Michelle Andre, Carmen Miranda, Bertital Bell Of the Ball, Beritas Miss Dior, Mint Master, Master Spy, Super Lad, Marmion and many more.

Her stock was to form the foundation of many other top winning poodle kennels. Will we ever see her like again; personally I don't think so.

I last saw Erna at the Northern Toy Poodle Club Ch Show 2002 still looking so upright and her hair perfect. She was so lucid and animated when we discussed the little dogs. I was particularly pleased that she was able to attend this show and she saw mine and Ann Ingram's Ch & Ir. Ch Tirkane Fire Flicker receive the BIS award about which she was most complimentary.

Roger Bayliss

Annette Dalley

Annette Dalley died on Saturday 23rd March after a long and painful illness. For twenty years she was an enthusiastic, dedicated and successful exhibitor of Finnish Spitz taking both success and occasional failure with characteristic charm and grace.

She actively supported the breed through her work as cup steward for the Finnish Spitz Club ('absolutely the worst job I have ever done') and the raffles and tombolas that always seemed to make more money than the previous year. Her tremendous warmth and enjoyment of life ensured that she was genuinely liked by all who met her and those who knew her well loved her for her natural openness and cheerful optimism. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Her funeral will take place at Burghclere parish church at 2.00pm (today) Friday 28th March

David Cavill