Club History

By Robert Bartram, 2007

Updated by Ginnette Loft, 2020


The first attempt to form a breed club took place in 1954 but it was obvious at that stage that there was not enough support so nothing came of it. It took best part of another decade for any further move. In November 1963 at St George Kennel Club, Mr Lowe and Mr and Mrs Murray talked with other exhibitors and agreed to approach to the then RASKC for permission to form a Cairn Club. In 1964 the Cairn Terrier Club of NSW was formed and an informal meeting was held at the Sydney Royal show that year.  

The first formal meeting took place on 17 April 1964 and the Club had a foundation membership of 40. Mr Lowe was elected President and Mrs Murray Secretary. Well known All Breeds judge Mr Harold Norman agreed to be Patron.The first Show was held on 15 November 1964 and was judged by Mr Norman. His BIS winner was Mrs Prince's BADENOCH Kylie with Mr and Mrs Kennedy's CH KENCREST Captain McLean ruBIS.

The Murrays served the Club with great distinction during it's first decade....Mrs Murray up until 1973 as Secretary and Mr Murray in various positions  including President. The Club prospered under their stewardship with an increasing membership and ever larger entries at the Club's annual Championship Show.

In 1974 Margaret Hill took over as Secretary and continued to hold the position for most of the time between then and when she finally resigned in 2005, apart from when Jean Groom for a short period and Alan Barker for a somewhat longer time (1990-1997) held the position during this time.

So for roughly half of the Club's existence Margaret Hill served as Secretary and that long period of stability and good governance made for a harmonious and well run Club. Indeed it's extraordinary that in 42 years we had only 4 Secretaries!

Upon Margaret's resignation in 2005 it was found that there were no Sydney based members of the Club in a position to take over. It was possible to form an executive from members based in southern NSW so the Club then became based in Queanbeyan, where Club shows are being held from 2006. It was heartening to see a slight increase in exhibit entries in 2006, with our Victorian exhibitors finding Queanbeyan somewhat more accessible. We can only hope that as the ease of access becomes better known that increase will continue!

The Club not only holds an annual Championship show but is also represented at Pet expos both in Sydney and Canberra. Sydney members continue to hold Coat Care days and Puppy Picnics and it is hoped that similar functions will be organised in the Queanbeyan/Canberra area shortly. The Club publishes a quarterly newsletter which keeps members in touch with what is going on within the Club and allows them a postal vote each year for the election of both Club officials and judges for the Show.

Changing the base of operations of the Club has been a fairly major change but given the Club's very solid foundations it is not an insurmountable one. I know that all of the current Executive and committee are mindful of the need to uphold the very high standards set by those who served the Club and the breed so very well in years gone by. We hope we can live up to their trust.

At the inaugural AGM held on 17 April 1964 MR KEN LOWE a well known terrier exhibitor and judge was elected President. MR LOWE was President in 1964 and 1965 and after there was some irregularity discovered in the voting at the 1966 AGM took over as President again for the balance of the year. MR J COWLEY served as President from April until July of that year when a SGM was called to resolve the problem.

In 1967 MR A H MURRAY took over and served for two years.His son MR A E MURRAY took over as President in 1969 and served until 1976 when MR C BEVES took over.

BRIAN LASSINI was elected in 1981 and served a total of 4 years in two different spells.

ROSEMARY BOYD, still active in the Club and a much valued Life Member and current Patron, served the Club as President 4 times 1983, 1997, 1998 and 1999.

ALAN BARKER was elected in 1990 but resigned later the same year to take over as Secretary. His role was taken over by C J (JEAN) GROOM and she served as President until 1993


MARGARET HILL served as President from 1994 to 1996 and Patron of the Club until her death in 2018.


MICHAEL DERBYSHIRE took over as President in 2000 at a time of great turmoil and dissent within the Club and served until 2004. His guidance and wise counsel supported the Club’s survival.


At the 2005 club AGM expatriate Scot BOB ROBERTSON took over as President.


In 2019 club meetings moved to an online format, allowing members from all over the state to participate in meetings and undertake club positions. With distance as no longer as issue, AMANDA BRUCE from the north of the state commenced as President and remains as of 2023/24.

MRS ELIZABETH MURRAY was elected Secretary at the Inaugural meeting in 1964 and served until 1973. The Murrays, both parents and son, were dedicated to the breed and Club and did much to put both on a firm footing in the early days.

MARGARET HILL took over from Mrs Murray in 1973 and served through until 1991.

ALAN BARKER served until 1996.

MARGARET HILL again took over in1997 and continued to serve until 2004.So in total Margaret served the Club as Secretary for the best part of 30 years with a stint as President thrown in for good measure. The good management over the Club over most of its life has been in no small measure due to her steadying influence.

When the clubs operational base moved south,  ROBERT BARTRAM based in Queanbeyan took on Secretary duties, followed by KATHRYN SMITH. 

The current (2023/24) Club Secretary is GINNETTE LOFT (since 2019) and meetings have moved to an online format.