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Obituary - Mr J C Whyte BEM

THE DALMATIAN and Norwegian Elkhound world has lost yet another true friend and enthusiast in Jimmy Whyte. It is only in the past twenty years that I have had the privilege to have known him, by which time he was already retired.

A very conscientious person in his working life which resulted in him being awarded the BEM - he continued his dedicated involvement into his love of dogs. More than forty years ago he was asked if he would judge a small Exemption Show with the proceeds going to the local disabled community. He readily accepted the appointment but no one could have envisaged that another dedicated dog enthusiast would organise a bus of some fifty exhibitors to come along and support him; there were in excess of 150 dogs present. Jimmy had certainly arrived on the dog scene.
He first awarded Challenge Certificates in Dalmatians way back on 22nd August 1974. Around this time it would seem he had also developed an interest in Norwegian Elkhounds and by February 1978 was elected to the committee of the then Elkhound Association of Scotland. On 18th March 1983, he awarded CCs in Norwegian Elkhounds for the first time.

Albeit he only kept Dalmatians, I was reminded by a mutual friend that Jimmy would make regular visits to his friend’s home in order that he could have his weekly Elkhound ‘fix’!

Jimmy was never happier than when he was at a dog show whether he was judging, stewarding or simply just as a spectator. He made the Association shows complete armed with his stewarding clipboard.

Wherever Jimmy was judging he always attracted an excellent entry, such was the respect exhibitors had for him and I would imagine one of the highlights of his judging career would have been his Crufts appointment in 1996 when his Best of Breed Elkhound, Ch Barlestone Crystal, won the Hound Group.

In 1999 he was elected as Vice President of the Association and, not one to take his duties lightly, continued to steward at both the Open and Championship shows until 2001.

I had the privilege of escorting him through the Hall at Darvel in October last year where he joined many old friends for lunch as part of the Association’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Whilst helping him back to his car later in the afternoon he remarked on how much he had enjoyed himself.
As recently as 1st February, Jimmy and his wife were to be found socialising at the Paisley Open Show, another organisation that Jimmy has had a long association with. It was obvious he wasn’t going to let weather get in the way of a dog show. He was reminiscing over some Crufts ’96 photographs, naming dogs he had gone over and remembering the day clearly – no one would have guessed he would be taken into hospital just a couple of short days later.

As a man who has left his mark on several dog societies, he will be sadly missed and I am honoured to have known him. Our thoughts go out to his wife Chris and their family.

Drew Littlejohn
Chairman, Norwegian Elkhound Association of Scotland

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