With certainty, this is the saddest duty I have had to perform in my role as Chairman of the Bichon Frise Club of Great Britain.
Jackie died in the early hours of Friday 16th April 2004 at the age of 85. She had unfortunately suffered poor health for a number of years. She leaves a son, Stuart and her devoted sister-in-law, Marjorie.
In life before dogs Jackie had been an extremely attractive model. She had a grace that she carried into later life and was always immaculately dressed, I doubt that she ever appeared with so much as a hair out of place. The lady had style.
Previously known for her silver poodles, Jackie was one of the first in the U.K. to be attracted by the Bichon Frise and dogs under her Tresilva affix have been a major influence in the breed for more than a quarter of a century. Her books on the Bichon have always been very well received, the first one published is now a collector’s item and much sought after.
Whilst others cast their net to America for stock, Jackie returned to the roots of the breed and purchased her foundation stock from France and Belgium, and it is probably due to the combination of lines imported in those early days that we have the Bichon as we know it today.
Jackie had been a member and staunch supporter of the Kennel Club since 1980 and served on various committees in her time. The existence of the Bichon Frise Club of GB is mainly thanks to her foresight and endeavour, indeed she was the founding secretary and she held the Office for those important, early years as the Club grew and became established. In later years she was a Vice President.
When the Southern Bichon Frise Breeders’ Association was formed, Jackie kindly agreed to become Patron and she held that Office until her demise.
A controversial figure and not always universally popular, Jackie was never afraid to speak her mind but equally she knew when to say nothing. I have on several occasions benefited from her wise counsel and I shall always be grateful for that. On the other hand Jackie and I have had moments when we have disagreed and neither has felt immediately able to see the other’s point of view. Gladly and thankfully it never lasted for long and a quick phone call usually put us back on terms.
Jackie will be sadly missed within the world of dogs generally and within the Bichon fraternity in particular. She was known as the doyenne of the breed and she has given so much to so many. I am sure her like will never pass this way again.
Chairman, Bichon Frise Club of Great Britain