Dog show enthusiasts both at home and abroad were shocked and saddened at the death of John Majury on Wednesday 4th January, following a short illness. John made many friends on his judging appointments around the world over the past thirty years and will be sadly missed both at home and abroad.
Born in Carrickfergus in August 1937, John worked for ICI until its closure in the early seventies and then bought a small corner shop, which he ran with his wife Mavis until his retirement just a couple of years ago, and where he could sell snow to Eskimos, such was his patter. It was an ‘open all hours’ kind of business where John made many friends and many a tale was related about it over the years.
John was a first class piper, playing in many pipe band competitions and he was a founder member of the Carrickfergus & District Pipe Band. He was also keen on sport, being both a rugby, cricket and football supporter, but his all consuming passion was dogs. He and his wife Mavis showed Boxers in the early days under their ‘Jurylass’ prefix, making up several champions, the first being Jurylass Cleo Laine, but it was as a judge that he will be best remembered. He was passed under FCI to judge hounds, toys, working, pastoral and utility, and together with his friend of almost 40 years, Dick McCoy, he made many memorable judging trips to places as far away as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Barbados, and of course Europe and home in Ireland and Great Britain. Dick and John became friends when they both started in dogs, and this ‘partnership’ was to last for over 37 years, with the two of them like brothers, and naughty brothers at that, the tales of their travels and pranks being legion.
It was fitting then that Dick should speak at John’s funeral service on Saturday 7th January, which was well attended by friends from his past and also the doggie world, and Dick’s tales of their exploits raised quiet laughter as we remembered some of the scrapes they got themselves into. Never did we see one of them at a show and not the other, they were like the terrible twins, and secretaries allowed one to steward for the other judging at their peril. With John’s untimely death, Ireland has lost one of its canine characters and a great double act has been broken up. They took their judging very seriously but also enjoyed the social side of their appointments and travels which is what it should all be about. John will be greatly missed by his wife Mavis, his friend of a lifetime, Dick, and all his family and friends in dogs.