PHIL BUCKLEY, the Kennel Club’s External Affairs Manager, is leaving the KC after nearly fourteen years, to emigrate to Melbourne, Australia with his fiancée Diane, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier Millie.
Phil’s family had always had dogs and he had been brought up around them - with the primary breed being Bull Terriers – which has been a bit of a Buckley tradition - but with a West Highland White Terrier and a Labrador Retriever cross Golden Retriever as part of the household.
Phil, 37, started work at the Kennel Club in August 1993 as an Information Officer at the tender age of 23, having attended Animal Care College for four years. He had wanted to be a vet, but was pretty hopeless at the sciences at school, so realised that this was a non-starter very early on. He also had wanted to be a fire fighter, but being colour-blind, also realised that this was never meant to be.
Phil served as a KC Information Officer for four years, then moved into the Marketing Department for a couple of years. The Post of Press Officer was then created for him and then he was promoted to External Affairs Manager, a role that he has enjoyed immensely for the last few years, earning him the respect and friendship of many people from many different areas within the world of dogs.
Over the years Phil has been a prime mover in many initiatives in the name of the KC, but also very close to his heart, including forging links with other organisations actively opposed to Breed Specific Legislation, not just in the UK, but round the world, and offering advice and guidance on his to approach opposition to BSL.
He was also instrumental in raising the profile of Dog Theft Action, arranging a summit which was held between DTA and several other organisations and agencies at the KC in November 2005 and also bringing them forward to stage a very well-received presentation in front of the All Party Group for Animal Welfare at the House of Commons in July 2006.
Phil said: "I have so enjoyed my time at the Kennel Club and within the world of dogs and are very sad to be leaving. I have very much enjoyed knowing, communicating and working with so many people over the years - for the ultimate benefit of that most marvellous of creatures, 'the dog'! I met my fiancé Diane at the Kennel Club three years ago, our relationship developed and, I’m pleased to say, she passed with flying colours my dog Millie’s suitability interview!
‘Millie and me’ are now going back to Melbourne, Australia with Di – who is Australian, where we are settling and getting married in February 2008.’
OUR DOGS is of the view that Australia’s gain in the UK’s loss, but are pleased that Phil has promised to keep in touch!
OUR DOGS learned in May that Mrs Shirley Cowan, 49, executive manager of the Shows, Trials and Awards department of the Kennel Club left the Kennel Club on Monday April 23rd. The Kennel Club confirmed Shirley Cowan's departure but declined to comment further on the matter.
Shirley had been with the KC for 11 years and was often seen at shows on the KC stand with her assistant Sylvie Lyus who also left the club last week.
Several championship show secretaries and KC committee chairmen have received letters at the time from the Chief Executive Rosemary Smart confirming her departure but assuring all of proper continuity and support.
Kelly Prosser who attended meetings pro-tem along with KC Canine Activities Executive Mrs Kathryn Symn, is to become Membership Secretary of the Kennel Club shadowing Mrs Mary Wetherell who is to retired later this year.
The Kennel Club currently has six staff vacancies, one in Aylesbury and five in its Mayfair offices. Three of the vacancies are in the newly created Canine Activities office which replaces Shows, Trials and Awards.