I was drawn to the world of show cats as a school child in the mid 1960's and pleaded to be allowed to go to the cat shows advertised at the Melbourne Town Hall (mainly The Australian Cat Club – Gilman group) and indeed did attend a number of shows there. I was fascinated by the Siamese, particularly, the Blue and Lilacs. I would just stare at them for hours. A few years later I got a Christmas job and saved that money to buy my first Siamese, a Blue Point. She was a daughter of Gd.Ch.Sarayan Blue Tooma – a highly decorated cat of the time and through that connection I got to know the famous breeder and experimenter Miss Zoe Jermyn, who became very much a mentor to me for some considerable time. Zoe offered her friendship, knowledge, kindness and enthusiasm, a gift I still treasure to this day. Through her I was also able to build a friendship with the outstanding shower/breeder/judge Jeanie Monk (Stilmeadow). Two other ladies that truly offered their friendship and shared their enthusiastic knowledge of cats and the cat fancy with me and have been instrumental in deepening my knowledge of other breeds and long term commitment to the fancy are Florris Hawkins (Thongdara Burmese) and Di Reynolds ( Withit Abyssinians). My gratitude is heartfelt. I have been most fortunate that so many people over the years and taken me under their wing and have genuinely shared their 'eye', knowledge and experiences. I guess I was no real threat.
I attained my first judges' licence in 1974 (Group 2), British and Group 3 licence in the late 1970's and All Breeds status with a Group 1 licence in 1992. Surely this length on commitment is worth a doctorate. I am a past president of the Shorthair Cat Club and have held many other positions on the management committee of that great Club and a past Chair of the FCCV Judges' Association. I have judged all over Australia (with the exception of NT) and have had so many repeat invitations that they are too numerous to keep track of and several appointments in NZ. I have bred Siamese, British Shorthairs and an occasional Persian under the Barraby prefix in partnership with Colin Lavelle and Florris Hawkins. Although it has been many years since a cat was bred under that prefix (1988).
I presently own a Chocolate Point Siamese, Anna, and just maybe, she will resurrect my breeding interest. Presently, I breed Cavalier and King Charles Spaniels and the Mornhaven spaniels have been enormously influential in southern Australia. I have a championship judging licence for the Toy Group and an Open Show licence for the Non–Sporting Group, so you can be sure I am always busy. I also have two young sons and a large garden. I sometimes fit in cats shows.