Obituary - Lorna Ireland
It is with sadness that we announce that Lorna Ireland passed away peacefully on 4th December after a long illness.
Even though Lorna’s interest in showing and breeding dogs started in her schooldays, her mother kept and showed Chow with some success, it wasn’t until she saw her first Pyrenean when working as a kennemaid at a Chow kennel that she began her long attachment to the breed. After marrying and giving up her full time job, she was able to attain her dream - obtaining her first Pyrenean in 1961 and another in 1963, both from the Lisblanc Kennels of Mrs Sheila Ball - from then on, as is said - ‘the rest is history’.
The first Arandora litter was bred in 1966 and this produced the Kennel’s first Champion, Anitra of Arandora, out of Xylina of Lisblanc sired by Basquaerie Nuvolari of Pondtail. Anitra went on to win 13 C.C’s in all and was a multi Best in Show winner. Mated to Ch. Gisano Amaro of Pondtail, she is turn produced Ch.Arandora Elizabeth who won six CCs and was Best of Breed at Crufts in 1975. The last Arandora Champion on record is Ch.Arandora Hot Dynamite with Arazanda who not only won Best Puppy and Best in Show at the PMDC of Scotland Show at just seven months of age, but went on to win four more Best Puppy in Breed, six Best of Breed awards, and the Green Star, CACIB and Reserve Best of Breed at the St.Patrick’s Day Show in Ireland in 1998.
Over the years Arandora exported dogs to many countries and one in particular, Ch Arandora Red Embers, became the foundation bitch of the very successful Red Embers Kennels of Ilona and Gerard van der Post in Holland. Lorna’s close association with this Kennel continued over the years and her imported Red Embers Mr. Chip made his mark on the Arandora breeding of that time.
Lorna became a member of the committee of the PMD Club of GB in the early 1970s; was Secretary for several Open Shows for many years and took on the organisation of their first Championship Shows of the new era in August 1975. After a brief ‘vacation’, owing to the work involved with their busy boarding kennel, Lorna returned to the committee and in 1987 was elected unopposed to the post of Club Secretary which post she held for the following 18 years only having to stand down when the illness which was to end her life, made it impossible for her to continue.
Up until her illness took a firm hold, the Gables Kennels were the home for rescued Pyreneans and Lorna drove all over the country, to collect dogs, which, through no fault of their own had to be found new homes. She spent a lot of her time rehabilitating these unfortunates; trying to gain the confidence of those who had been ill-treated, and hours in gradually getting these dogs used to being groomed as such was the state of so many.
As well as being on the committee of the Leicester City Canine Society, Lorna was involved on behalf of the Cambridge Veterinary College in their programme to raise funds for research into cancer in dogs and she travelled all over the country with this appeal publicity, often combining it with her own judging commitments.
She was passed by the Kennel Club to give CCS in 1972 and over the following decades was to award CCs on a regular basis - as one of the KC’s lists showed, she was in the top 20 Judges for the breed. In 1985 she was also qualified to award Green Stars under shows organised by the Irish Kennel Club and had judged the breed overseas in both Denmark and Holland. She was able to fulfil what is every Judges dream when she was invited to judge at Crufts in 1987.
It is very sad when a well-known Kennel has to cease but for several years to come it is hoped there are enough dogs and bitches around to keep the Arandora flag flying, but unfortunately time does not stand still, so this name will eventually disappear, and in common with many other well-known names of the past, will be consigned to the annals of history.
We send out sympathy to husband Tony and her close relatives.