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Obituary - Phyllis Masters (Styvechale)

Phyllis Masters passed away on Sunday 9 July 2006 in Glengarry Private Hospital in Perth, Western Australia.

Phyllis was well known for her kennel of Styvechale Cocker Spaniels of various colours from the 1940s right through to the 1990s. During those years, Phyllis served on the committee and was a Life Member of The Cocker Spaniel Club and enjoyed taking part in fund-raising activities for the parent club’s Rescue welfare by organising a bric-a-brac stall at various shows.

For a short time in the 1970s, Phyllis was Secretary to the Coventry Cocker Spaniel Club and in 1973 was one of the founder members of The Parti-Coloured Cocker Spaniel Club and from then onwards remained an active officer/committee member to that Club. After emigrating to Perth in August 1993, Phyllis was officiated with the title of Patron and Honorary Life Member.

In the early 1980s, with her devotion, honesty and professional integrity, Phyllis put forward her ShCh Chrisolin Cambiare of Styvechale for tests to prove the fatal congenital kidney disease, FN. The tests proved Cambiare was a carrier, resulting in his early retirement and lived to a grand age of 14yrs. Although some tried to blame Cambiare - certainly he was neither the first nor last cocker in giving problems - it was Phyllis’ own responsibility to help reduce this problem as was possible, and for the important virtues of cocker spaniel posterity.

Although they were difficult times, Phyllis with her intelligence found a solution with an outcross and so producing the top sire, Styvechale Stormcloud, and over the years he went on to producing some champions. Indeed at that time, the lines of Styvechale played an important role in the success of top winning cockers from other well known kennels today.

Gill Pearce-Gudger
Sec The Parti-Coloured Cocker Spaniel Club

Mark Boswell writes:

‘Phyllis was a great mentor to many people just starting out with a show Cocker. I count my 17 year old self among them. Phyllis took me under her wing and guided me along the road to showing and breeding Cocker Spaniels. I spent many happy weeks with the Styvcehale kennels at Valley House. Phyllis was so proud of my BOB with ShCh Marquell Misprint at Crufts 2005 and was one of the first to send congratulations.

‘My involvement with the Styvechale kennels began in the early 1980s and from that time to this, Phyllis became a very close friend, sharing her vast breeding knowledge and experience, hand-trimming techniques and general Cocker Spaniel guidance.

‘Even after leaving the UK to enjoy a happy retirement in Perth, WA, to live close to her eldest son Brian and his family, where she was visited by her younger son Graham and his family who live in California, we kept in regular contact and I had visited her on two happy and memorable occasions.

‘Many people would say that Phyllis was a kind and welcoming person when visiting the Styvechale home; indeed she was a devoted lady who gave so much to the Cocker Spaniel fraternity.

‘By the time this obituary is printed, the funeral will have taken place on Thursday 13 July at Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park, Perth.

Donations will be welcome in memory to Phyllis Masters and can be made to the Leukaemia Foundation in Australia, http://www.leukaemia.org.au/web/index.php.

Sincere sympathies go to Brian and Graham Masters and their families.’