details of all our Club Officials can be found on the CONTACT
The following history of the Western Province Boxer Club
was written by Barbara Cook, Editor of scraps in June 1998.
THOSE EARLY DAYS
Have you ever wondered why so many of our
trophies have Cape of Good Hope Boxer Club inscribed on them?
It certainly got me scratching in the archives to see whether
I could unravel a little bit of the early history of our club.
A fascinating scratch through old dusty
files revealed that the beginnings of our dub can be traced
back to an informal meeting held by a group of boxer enthusiasts
on 24 July 1952 in the Youngsfield government village lounge.
At this first get-together, an interim committee was elected
to draw up a draft constitution and to make arrangements for
an Inaugural General Meeting. The latter meeting was held
on 19 August 1952 at the Hotel Cecil in Newlands, with 14
foundation members joining the Western Province Boxer Club
(WPBC). Membership in that first year grew rapidly, and by
August 1953, the club boasted 55 members.
The club held its first match meeting on
14 February 1953 at the Princes Hotel in Claremont, where
none other than Allon Dawson himself judged! For those of
you who might not be aware, Allon Dawson was the owner of
the world famous Stainburndorf boxer kennels in the UK. Some
valuable publicity by the Cape Times ensured a good turnout
of over 35 boxers for the great event. It was at this "show"
that Mr. Dawson donated a rather valuable solid silver trophy
to the club The Stainburndorf or Floating Trophy for the Boxer
of the Year.
At about the time of the formation of the
Western Province Boxer Club, boxer folk up north were also
getting together with a view to forming a club, and so it
was that the Boxer Club of Southern Africa was formally launched
at a meeting at the Grand National Hotel in Johannesburg on
28 July 1952, thus making this club the oldest boxer specialist
club in South Africa. Both clubs became affiliated to KUSA
shortly after their formation, and this is reported in the
September 1952 issue of the then "South African Kennel
But I still have not explained the origins
of the name "Cape of Good Hope Boxer Club" and for
that matter, whatever became of the Boxer Club of Southern
Africa. To answer this, I need to tell you about the formation
of the Federation of the Boxer Clubs of South Africa (FBCSA)
- an event which was to have far reaching implications for
the development of the breed in South Africa.
The FBCSA was formed because of a longstanding dispute between
the South African Kennel Union (now KUSA) and some members
of the boxer fraternity regarding the question of showing
boxers with cropped ears. Some breeders had spent large sums
of money on imported cropped eared dogs from Germany
and America, and were thus unhappy that they could not be
Initially three KUSA boxer clubs - the Boxer
Club of Southern Africa, the Central South African Boxer Club,
and the Northern Boxer Club of Southern Africa broke away
from the SA Kennel Union.
These events up north were viewed with great
concern by members of the WPBC. At a meeting in November 1960,
attended by 16 members, a resolution to approach both the
SA Kennel Union and the newly constituted FBCSA with a view
to trying to heal the breach was unanimously accepted.
But still some of the members were restless.
Another extraordinary general meeting was held on 24 April
1961 - a meeting which was to prove to be very significant.
The dog-eared minutes which record the events of that night
could not have captured the tension amongst the 26 members
present. After a lengthy debate, a vote was taken to decide
whether or not the WPBC should break away from the SA Kennel
Union and join the FBCSA. The result - 11 votes in favour,
14 against, and 1 abstention. And so it was that the WPBC
remained within the SA Kennel Union, albeit without the likes
of Don Loon and the Ballantynes who had handed in their resignations
straight after the voting.
The formation of a new club followed swiftly
with the inauguration of the Cape of Good Hope Boxer Club
on 8 May 1961 at the Goodwood Hotel, under the chairmanship
of Dr Loon. An initial membership of 43 seemed to auger well
for the long term future of this new FBCSA affiliated group
of boxer fans, which included the likes of ElIie and Gordon
Wilson of Idle Winds boxers, and Angus and Peggy Ballantyne
and Dr Don Loon of Sunnybrae boxers. Gordon Wilson closed
the meeting with the following words ... "We are gathered
here in the presence of all you good people to join together
the cropped-eared boxer and the natural-eared boxer in a lasting
union. If any of those present know of any good reason why
they should not be joined together, he has had his chance
to speak and must now forever hold his peace. What we have
tonight joined together let no man put asunder."
Dramatic stuff, but this was not to be the
case. At first enthusiasm ran high, and a mere four months
after its formation, the Cape of Good Hope Boxer Club held
its first championship show. Regular articles were a feature
of early issues of the FBCSA's Boxer Bulletin, and membership
grew steadily, topping the hundred mark by the club's first
AGM. However, despite the early success of their championship
shows, entries dwindled due to the isolation of this FBCSA
club relative to the other clubs, and in 1971, the Cape of
Good Hope Club officially disaffiliated itself from the FBCSA,
and approached the WPBC regarding amalgamation of the two
Cape Town clubs.
It is interesting to note that 1963 saw
the formation of the FBCSA affiliated Boland Boxer Club, spearheaded
by the Gordons, a sign perhaps that all was not well within
the early executive of the Cape of Good Hope Boxer Club. The
Boland club was short lived after approximately five years
of relative inactivity, it ceased to exist.
It was important following that fateful
night in April 1961 to stem the tide, thus the general letter
of 3 July 1961 written by the Secretary of the WPBC, and addressed
to the members. I quote: "In view of the present rift
in the boxer world of southern Africa, it would seem of the
utmost importance that those of us who have not broken away
from the SA Kennel Union should keep in touch with each other....
the [club] numbers 59 and shows no sign of breaking up...
new members continue to join". And so it was, that the
club has grown from strength to strength, and now has a strong