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Pat Rigby

Regrettably Pat Rigby died in Hospital on 8th November 2007 at the age of 67 after suffering for several years from breathing difficulties. She leaves her mother of 93, four children, ten grandchildren, plus four great grand children.

Pat had led an interesting life as an Army wife for many years having lived in Singapore which she dearly loved and Germany, but she was never without a dog.

She and Jim her second husband first started to show in 1981 though when he died in January 2000 she gave up all her dogs, however she never ever lost the interest. She was keen to hear all the news, photos etc of the breed right until the end. Luckily she remained mentally alert by going to Bingo and doing quizzes, she certainly knew who was judging when and where!

Their first Yorkie was from Blairsville lines in partnership with the Blaimires although they neither bred nor showed him. Then she a Jim attained their first show Yorkie Bradstara Royalist (Ch Juliette Bradstara X Ch Chantmarles Stowaway), Jim travelling thoughout the night in a rainstorm to collect him. After that they bought a Finstal bitch to start their own lines “Crosspins”.

It was a small kennel which never had any more than eight dogs at any one time, they particularly bred for show quality where temperament was of paramount importance. Beautifully home reared, the dogs even had their own little Japanese garden full of fuscias with a little bridge to run around and over and of course we all remember Pat’s creative knitting including the little colourful socks her dogs wore.

Pat was a popular exhibitor presenting her dogs to perfection with expert knowledge, always there to give advice and a helping hand. She served on the committees for two Clubs working hard by stewarding etc. She was a knowledgeable judge and judged internationally on many occasions which she enjoyed, she of course being a seasoned traveller. She was a very vibrant respected person full of character despite her small stature and will be sadly missed by many especially by her devoted family.    

Phil Worrow - A tribute

What better way to embark on this tribute than to say ‘Phil Worrow was held in great affection by so many’. He will be oh-so-sadly missed but never more than in the world of the Bernese Mountain Dog, a breed to which Phil gave total dedication for many, many years.

Not only was he a founder member of the highly regarded Southern Bernese Mountain Dog Club, from the club’s birth in 1984 and without a break he served in many capacities on the hard-working committee, holding several posts including secretary and culminating in his being appointed Chairman. He was some while back, made an honorary life member of the club, and rightly so.

Phil had many facets. Part of him was a ‘back room boy’ through and through who, behind the scenes and together with his wife Lindsey for as long as I can remember, loaded cars, carried boxes and banners, bought stock, sought new ideas and much more, all with a view to organising and serving on the club sales table for the duration of most of the events.

The behind-the-scenes effort and work involved in this was born of a great devotion to the breed he loved and how very indebted is the Southern Club, its committee, membership and visitors to their events for the innumerable hours of work put in. So easy was it, for us to buy a calendar, card, reference book etc., and be greeted warmly by either Phil or Lindsey with perhaps little thought on our part for the work the Worrows had put in. If we never said ‘thank you’… may I do so now, on behalf of us all.

We are also indebted to Phil for his other tireless work on committee matters and who, together with his colleagues on the team, helped arrange seminars, judging and fun events, Bernese of the Year, Christmas parties, open and championship shows etc. The list is endless.

In addition to his ‘back room work’ Phil was also a ‘front man’ who over the years has so admirably flown the flag for the BMD in proficiently giving of his expertise in the championship show world, awarding CCs in the breed and offering advice if needed to new people with an interest in ownership.

In the ring Phil was both dignified and professional. He had a great eye for type. It was always a pleasure to see him judge as one of our breed specialists and where, in the ring, he offered courtesy to the exhibitors which was refreshing to say the least (and a little rare) these days.

Although still a relatively young man, there was something rather ‘old school’ about Phil which I warmed to and liked so very much. It was a charming attribute. In all the years I have known him I have never (to coin a phase) seen him in a bad mood. He doubtless suffered from them from time to time, as do we all, but it was always a pleasure to chat with him. He was clearly very knowledgeable not only in matters Bernese, for in the latter years after early retirement from his chosen career, he became very adept in the world of antiques. There was a lot he could impart on the subject.

I never ever saw Phil as a ‘yes’ man (doubtless being able to make his feelings felt at meetings if the need were there). That said, I felt his nature was such that he could move on and not bear a grudge. The work of our committees is to debate and debate, and quite rightly Phil had strong opinions, but I saw him as a man who truly believed in what was important to him. The welfare and furtherance of the BMD was paramount to him.

In recent years, so very commendably Phil and Lindsey have taken on the care of some three Bernese (to my knowledge) needing homes. There may have been more. Also, over the years Phil has been an exhibitor in the breed and casting my mind way back, he successfully campaigned a beautiful bitch whose kennel name has long since escaped me, but known to us as Crystal. He and Lindsey formed the ‘Downland’ kennel and his experience in BMDs was considerable, encompassing breeding and canine well-being.

Many will be familiar with the Southern Club emblem of bitch and puppy displayed on the front cover of the ever popular club ‘Bernfax’ magazine, which I believe dates back to a photograph from a ‘Downland’ litter. On the matter of the ‘Bernfax’, included in his efforts for the club was the editorship of the magazine for a long period and he himself was responsible for a number of most informative and interesting articles.

The loss of Phil Worrow is untimely and cruel, he had so much more to give. He did however, pack a lot into life which he lived to the full and we draw comfort from that.

He has made his mark with an input into many fields, not the least an especially worthy input into the world of dogs and its devotees. He was indeed a genuine ‘dog-man’ in my opinion and his enthusiasm for the fancy shone through. It is a sad fact and typical of this challenging life, one so often never truly realises what one had, ‘til it’s taken from our midst’ and the Southern Bernese Mountain Dog Club now has a void that will never be filled in quite the same way again.

I wish I had spent more time with Phil Worrow, taken more time to chat and seek further his opinions from which I feel I would have learned so much more about dogs and their ways.
Heartfelt sympathy and condolences go out to his wife Lindsey and to his family and friends.
Margaret Nelson