Officers and Members of Lisburn and District Canine Society (LDCS) recently celebrated their 60th Anniversary at The Cardan in Lisburn.
LDCS was first registered as a canine society on July 31, 1953. This coincided with the coronation and the royal visit by the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth to Lisburn.
The first Honorary secretary was George Webster and Chairman was W Gamble. There were 25 founder members on the Kennel Club application each donating a minimum of £2 each to fund the society. Many of the ‘founder members’ were not doggy people, but actually business owners in the Lisburn area.
The current President of the Society and oldest and longest serving member Tommy Watterson joked that this was probably because they were the only ones who could afford to donate £2 which was more than a week’s wages in 1953.
Many were local publicans, and shop owners from Bow Street and Bridge Street, these included familiar names of Elmore, Jordan, Batisti, Eastwood, Mooney, Neeson and Corken. The Society has held many open shows, in the past it held 2 open shows per year, one in May, and a Charity Show in October. Over the years the Charity show raised over £22,000 for the Cardiac Unit of the Lagan Valley Hospital.
The last Charity show was held in 2003, unfortunately due to change of Kennel Club rules they can now only hold one open show per year.
The Society also hosts the prestigious Northern Ireland Working and Pastoral Pup and Dog of the Year which invites the top winning dogs of the year to compete for a supreme title.
Over the years the society has held its shows at several venues, including, the Old Lisburn markets (Lisburn Square), Distillary Football Grounds, Down Royal Racecourse, Lisburn Leisure Centre, Glenmore Leisure Centre, and presently Lisburn Rugby Club.
The Northern Ireland Working and Pastoral Pup and Dog of Year event has been held at various locations and for several years now has been held at Balmoral Hotel.
The Officers have thanked all those who have contributed to the society’s success.