Obituary - Mr Jack Lester
It is with great sadness that I record the death of my great friend Jack Lester who I first met some 35 years ago at a training class in West Lancashire. Many people knew Jack as a steward at all the local shows, his sergeant major voice carried throughout the venue for all to hear, no one could say they never heard him call out a class, his repartee was one of fun and laughter, and he never missed an opportunity to take the Mickey out of his friends.
Jack was born in Wigan in 1929 he was brought up with dogs, Jack’s first show dog was a Rough Collie which he exhibited when he was only 12 years old, I was lead to believe it to be from the famous Ladypark kennels. Jack served in the armed forces and rose to the rank of Sergeant Major, I think this is why he had such a loud voice?
After he left the army he purchased a German Shepherd Dog, and this was the breed with which he became synonymous. he won many BOB and best in shows locally with his German Shepherds, unfortunately Jack could not drive and relied upon others to give him a lift to shows. Jack awarded CCs in German Shepherds, Swedish Vallhund and Lancashire Heelers.
In the late eighties Jack was asked to try and find homes for a breeder of Swedish Vallhunds because she could not manage any longer, which he did with the exception of one bitch, the owner said “well if you can’t find her a home we’ll have to put her down” Jack would have none of that and said he would keep her.
He mated her to a Hurstfield dog which she produced Ch Appjohn Belisama, Ch Appjohn Arron and Ch Appjohn Bruno all from one litter Belisama won Best of Breed at Crufts in 1994 & 1995. I believe this was god paying Jack back for his kindness to this ill-fated bitch
Sadly the likes of Jack Lester we will never see again, Jack leaves two sisters to whom I would like to send my sincere condolences.
The funeral will be held at Wigan Crematorium at 1.30pm Monday 17th March 2008.
Everyone at ‘OUR DOGS’ was sorry to hear of the passing of Jack Lester, one of the dog game’s greatest characters.
Steve Hall has kindly written a full obituary, noting Jack’s dogs and wins, but for us, it was always a personal relationship with Jack...and his mint balls!
No one can even remember when Jack started to help us on the stands at shows, except that it was quite a while ago. Who will ever forget the tall man, often wearing a velvet bow tie, with his voice either booming across a ring, or shouting to one of our customers...... "it’s only two quid missus, you can't buy toilet rolls for that!"
If my memory serves me correctly, wasn't it Jack who acted as steward at that ill fated LKA dog show in 1991 when we were all snowed in, and the dog folk arranged an exemption show at 2am in the morning.....that was meat and drink to our Jack.
As Steve Hall says, you will not see the likes of Jack again..or hear his jokes; I wish I could remember the one he told about his career as a soldier and when he was in Cairo.....I'm sure anyone who knew him will know the one I mean. We all loved it when he told folks that he joined us on a youth opportunity scheme in 1958, and he was still on trial!
And I make no apologies for being light hearted in mentioning all of Jack’s comical side at this sad time....because that's the way he would have wanted it....and you can see him now in another dimension, passing round that scruffy bag of Uncle Joe’s mint Balls.
God bless you Jack... and, from everyone at OUR DOGS, thanks for everything.