THE SPORT IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
1 SEPTEMBER 1917
by J. A. Weaver
The fanciers of W.A. are indebted to you, Mr Editor, for the opportunity to place before the fancy on your side a small resume covering the ups and downs of the sport on our side. Personally, I shall do all in my power to aid the "Australian Racing Pigeon" and appeal to all followers of the game to give it the lift it deserves and bring some success to its enterprising publishers. Pigeon racing is small on our side, compared with our sister states, but your fanciers must not think for one moment that we are completely out of touch with the doings of the birds of the birds in England and Belgium and on your side. Ten to twelve years ago some valuable birds were imported from England and the progeny of some are doing well today. The blood was Thorougoods, Logans, Halletts, Grooter, Hansene, Bonami, Moss and Stanhope, etc.
The sport at that time was very prosperous on the Goldfields, and the Boulder City Club flew for some big sweepstakes. Their mode of liberation was owner's batches, with a 10 minutes interval between each, and by sending a few shillings along to the Station Master the birds were released accurately. But of late years the sport has gone down and down, until today it is very small indeed. But on the coast it is very different.
Although many of our good flyers are doing their bit on the battlefield, we are doing our best to keep things going and utilise the grand facilities we now have to get the birds flying from great distances off the Trans-Australian line, and I consider, for a country where convoyers are unknown, the long distance performances of our birds signify that we must possess some quality. At present I am not too conversant with the strains of last years winners up to 670 miles, but will endeavour to let you know on some early occasion. There are four clubs in a 24 mile area on the coast - the Metropolitan Pigeon Racing Club, the City and Suburban Senior and Junior, and the Midland Junction Club. Several members of the City and Suburban Club have imported the Toulet clock and all clubs use various one bird stop and start clocks. The first long distance race was flown some 11 years ago from Carnarvon on the north coast, 505 miles airline. The birds were sent from Fremantle by boat. It was always a hard fly and the nearest tossing place was only 250 miles, which meant a 250 mile jump, and, what with a four day's sea voyage, the birds were really up against it. The best time was 17 hours and was won on two occasions by Tancred's Barkers (of Sydney) . But now we have the Trans-line, there will be no more north coast flys. Last year 450 miles and 550 miles were flown on the day and Loongana 670 miles was the longest race. Five birds were timed inside 20 hours. The weather was good, but no favourable wind.
At present, most clubs are at the 345 mile stage and the races are becoming interesting. Several long stages are to be flown and mighty good birds will be sent to try and fly the border of South Australia 870 miles. We can do it! "Nuff sed".
In the next monthly issue I shall set out some of our race results and also the strain of the winners, and with various other incidents connected therewith.
In conclusion, I hope that the above few notes will be at least interesting to some and give a little insight into the birds' doings in the "Golden West".
Courtesy, The Australian Racing Pigeon, Vol. 1, No.3. 1.9.1917
The 1917 season is ended and fanciers have had a few smashes to finish and we have abandoned the 781 mile fly. The main reason for the decision is possibly the prospect of a Federation of all clubs, which would make such a long fly a greater success, both in returns and financially. Like all homing pigeon bodies, we have had our troubles, and after all, what is to be gained when clubs stand on their own? The prize money is small and the game is always "as you were" and those who have go an expensive stud of birds together eventually get disheartened and their birds neglected. It will cause a great joy to most of the old flyers when federation is consummated and the advent of the "Australian Racing Pigeon" journal has gone a long way towards bringing about the desired result.
Courtesy, The Australian Racing Pigeon, Vol. 1, No.7. 2.1.1918
"MARATHON LOFT" JAMES A WEAVER, 85 Alma Road, North Perth, Western Australia Walter E Lowe's Sturdy, Staying Grooters, finest Sheldon (Mealy Mirande blood); famous "Inspiration" and "Radience".
I imported the English Birds from the famous Racer and Breeder, W.E. Lowe Esq., Gt Barr, England. A LIMITED NUMBER OF SQUEAKERS FOR SALE. The birds have been separated since January, mated July 10th. Fancier's own rings if desired. Although prices are reasonable, I shall pay freight my end providing two pairs or more are shipped together. TELEGRAPH AND BOOK EARLY. Squeakers, two pounds five shillings per pair. ($4.50)
In this issue appears the first Western Australian advertisement - that of Mr J A Weaver - and after perusal, what he has to offer will impress you as quality indeed. When Mr Weaver, some years ago, wanted some of the very best he went neither here nor there, he went straight to headquarters and imported direct from W E Lowe. So satisfactory was the medicine that he repeated the dose no long ago than 1916, and the result is what you see for yourself, a very fine collection of Lowe-Grooters. Coming so soon after Mr Ashton's Hanson's sale, this makes a splendid opportunity for anyone desiring to breed closer to this strain to secure birds bred at the opposite end of the continent. That this is no mean consideration is admitted by the best authorities in the pigeon world, the difference in climatic conditions being tantamount to an out-cross in the blood. "P John", who recently had the opportunity of inspecting these birds in Perth, wrote as follows:-
"Thanks for the address of Mr J A Weaver, Perth, and in him you will be pleased to hear that I met a very courteous and enthusiastic fancier. It is very nice, when away from home, to see what the interstate men are doing and hear their 'theories and queries'. As regards Mr Weaver's birds, as you know, these are Lowe-Grooters and direct importation's at that, which proves him to be a flyer with plenty of initiative in going after what he wants. After getting right through the loft and handling a good number, I will hazard the opinion that there cannot be any better birds of this strain in Australasia. Further than that, I'll say that I can't remember having ever been in a loft where the standard of quality was so consistently high, right throughout the inmates.
Young Determination is, of course, a son of the 'Determination' and Dam is Lowe's 'Lady Orleanist' the hen which was mated to Old Grooter to produce 'Serenity' and other good 'uns. He is naturally a blue and is one of the finest birds I have ever handled, looking in the very prime of life. As sire of birds which have won prizes from 250 right up to 662 miles he is entitled to a lot of respect. 'Sir Walter' is the blue son of 'Young Determination' whose photo you have and he is indeed a super pigeon. The photo hardly does justice. A shade bolder in the head than his sire, he proved himself up to 602 miles in the best of company. 'Young Rejected' is a fine black cock imported from Lowe and is a son of 'Rejected II', bred by G Bell of Badsey, from his 'Champion Rejected'. His dam is 'Serenity' referred to above and he, himself, has already thrown first prize winners at 450 miles and birds flown 550.
'Miss Sheldon' is a lovely blue chequer WF hen of 'Forlorn Hope' Grooter and Sheldon blood, imported from Lowe and dam of 550 milers. There are many others just as good as the ones I have mentioned, but the above will illustrate the class of birds Mr Weaver has, and will help to explain, how, at my time of life, I was so impressed that I simply had to secure a few for myself.
If anyone ponders too long, when Mr Weaver's advertisement comes out, he will surely ponder his chances away, for the prices will be within the reach of all. And, if any hesitating budding fancier were to ask my humble advice, it would be 'Hop right in, my son, you can't go wrong.'
Mr Weaver states that he has promised the first nest from 1 and 1A to a friend and will have only the second nest to dispose of this season. Mr Keith Ferguson of Sydney has visited his loft several times and handled the birds. He was so impressed with them that he induced Mr Weaver to part with four beauties, which can be seen in Mr Ferguson's stock loft. Mr Ferguson is acting as agent for Mr Weaver and will book orders and receive cash and deliver birds to any buyer on this side of the continent."
1999 Historian Note: There is still strong representation of Weaver blood in Western Australian racing today and these descendants are generally recognised as dark and black chequers, which trace back to James Weaver. George Thomas, racing from Palmyra/Ardross and now located in Leeming, Perth, always relied on his old black family of Weaver's when the going got tough, as did Albany's Ray Barrass' old Mullewa family which has done much 'damage' in competition, up to present day, in quite a few metropolitan lofts. The long time pairing of Ray Barrass' Artie Morris Jurion mealy (which bred him winners every year to about the age of 20) was an old Mullewa family hen, which, from the 1918 photos, looked very much like the black 'Young Rejected'. The Mullewa family of Weaver blood won the 800km Mullewa to Albany race 9 times. A close representation of the old Artie Morris/Weaver blood, as reds, left Perth to the USA in July 1998.
Race Program for Season 1919
|July 5||Southern Cross Old Birds||210miles|
|July 19||Boulder City Young Bird Derby||340 miles|
|August 2||Boulder City Old Bird||340 miles|
|August 16||Zanthus Old Bird||460 miles|
|August 23||Rawlinna Old Bird||560 miles|
|August 30||Zanthus Old Bird||460 miles|
|Sept 6||Rawlinna Old Bird||560 miles|
|Sept 13||Loongana Old Bird||670 miles|
|October 4||Hughes Old Bird||812 miles|
GREAT NORTHERN HOMING CLUB
|May 31||Meckering Young Bird||70 miles|
|June 7||Meckering Old Birds||70 miles|
|June 8||Meckering Single liberation Young Birds||70 miles|
|June 14||Merredin Young Birds||145 miles|
|June 21||Merredin Old birds||145 miles|
|June 28||Southern Cross Young Birds||210 miles|
|July 12||Boorabbin Old Bird||267 miles|
|July 26||Boulder City Old Bird (Single liberation)||340 miles|
(Courtesy, The Australian Racing Pigeon, Vol. II, No.11. 1.5.1919)
Have won for the last 8 years over all distances from37 miles up to 657 miles including some of the long races.
Am prepared to book a few squeakers for this season from my high class stock birds and racers and all these birds have flown all distances and bred birds that have won at all distances.
The squeakers I offer will be bred from the following strains: Successful Firebrands, Thoroughgood, Stanhope, Quacy, Harrison, Jurion, Grooter. Successful Bonami, Perfection and old Boley blood.
Major wins Boulder Association YB Derby 337 miles 1049ypm
Boulder Association YB Derby 337 miles 910ypm
Zanthus Association 450 miles 1141ypm
Rawlinna Association 555 miles 1007ypm
Loongana Association 657 miles 932ypm
1915 1st Meckering 71 miles
1st Mingenew 195 miles
4th Southern Cross 210 miles
2nd Boulder 337 miles
2nd Norseman 345 miles
2nd Laverton 450 miles
1916 2nd Merredin 145 miles
2nd Southern Cross 210 miles
1st Boulder 337 miles
2nd Norseman Association 345 miles
1st Zanthus Association 450 miles
3rd Zanthus Association 450 miles
1st Zanthus Club 450 miles
1st Rawlinna Association 555 miles
3rd Loongana Association 657 miles - five birds home out of 5 in time limit
1917 3rd Merredin 145 miles
4th Merredin 145 miles
1st Boulder Assoc YB Derby 337 miles
1st Norseman Assoc. 345 miles
1st Zanthus Assoc. 450 miles
3rd Rawlinna Assoc.
3rd Loongana Assoc. 1st and 5 birds home in time limit, four of them being
my own, out of six birds I sent.
1918 4th Meckering 71 miles
4th Merredin 145 miles
4th Southern Cross 210 miles
2nd Southern Cross 210 miles
3rd Merredin Association 145 miles
2nd Boorabbin Association 266 miles
1st Boulder Association YB Derby 337 miles
Owing to removal of loft was unable to fly any further
Mr Munn, who won the long distance championship of 805 miles from Hughes, won with my strain. In reference to stock birds, the fancy will be able to see some of their performances and pedigrees in the Australian Racing Pigeon Stud Book. The birds have been separated since December; mated June 15th. I shall pay half freight, providing two pairs or more are shipped together. Book early and avoid the crush. All squeakers, two pounds ten shillings ($5.00) each and full pedigree on application.
All applications to:
W.F. JOSS, 91 WEST PARADE, MT LAWLEY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
January 1st 1920
A GREAT PERFORMANCE
Mr Tom Bown, Woodville lofts, Dumbleyung, Western Australia, has reported a great performance by one of his birds. Mr Brown has long made up his mind to fly the South Australian border, 800 miles.
This year he sent four birds to Mr Whitley, Hon, Secretary of the Kalgoorlie Club, who banded them and sent them on to the Station Master at Hughes on the border, who liberated them 5.00am Friday 24th October and Mr Brown had the pleasure of reporting one bird home at 10.00am Sunday, the 26th October. This bird is a Red Chequer Grooter cock, "Happy Jack" rung MPRC.85.16 and he looked fit to go again when he got home. He is three years old and prior to going to the 800 miles stage had four tosses, including one from 612 miles and last year he flew 400 miles. This proved him to be a good one and not many fanciers would have risked sending him on to the final stage. Mr Brown says in his note that he thinks most fanciers keep too many birds and that he has only 12 in his loft, but they are 12 good ones. We tender our congratulations to Mr Brown on the great fly put up by his bird and hope he will send on some notes as to the manner in which he trains his birds for the benefit of we younger fanciers.
1999 Historian Note: Tom Brown was a successful racing pigeon fancier in Port Pirie, South Australia, before taking up farming in the southern sheep and wheat-belt town of Dumbleyung, Western Australia.
To be continued...