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Mr John James - an appreciation

IT IS as a Committee member of Eastwood Kennel Association that I would like to acknowledge the enormous contribution John made to the Society over a period of some 26 years.

John succeeded his then wife, Betty, as Secretary in the mid 1980s and together the two were determined to make Eastwood not just another dog show but something from the top drawer.

John was full of innovative ideas and never overlooked the minority breeds, something which possibly held us back in recent years when even more targets were set by the KC.

John delighted in starting judges off in their careers and many people out there will be grateful for the chance John gave them to get their foot on the ladder. John also believed in supporting the handling side of dogs and this too was well represented in the classification.

Before Betty’s untimely death five years ago Committee meetings were held at their home at Mansfied and after Betty’s death we thought we might lose John as Secretary but the question never arose and John’s commitment never wavered.

At his funeral, which was attended by over 100 people, someone asked: ‘What happens to Eastwood now?”. Those of us left on Committee (six in total) have over a century of combined years connected with the world of showing dogs and serving on Breed Club, General and Championship Show Committees.

For John and Betty’s sake, for what they built up over 26 years, we shall carry on in the Eastwood tradition; nobody will ever replace ‘JJ’, but as he would have said; ‘The show must go on’. John was never one to offer praise but we were told by someone who had complimented him on the professionalism of the Golden Jubilee Show that he had paid tribute to ‘the best Committee a Secretary could have.’

Latterly he appeared to have found a new happiness with his fiancee, Sheila - to her we send our sympathies. To his daughter Joanna, his son Tony and his brother Brian who were with him at the end, we send our heartfelt condolences. We were all privileged to share his life.

Sandra Taylor
on behalf of the Officers and Committee, Eastwood KA