Was this the first Scottie breed club in Australia?

Until late 1976, members of The Scottish Terrier Club believed they belonged to the first Scottie breed club in Australia. Then, quite by accident, one of our members, Mrs. Dallas Pickett, unearthed some earlier history.

A member of the clerical staff of The General Electric Company Pty. Ltd., Dallas was clearing out some of the firm’s old records, including papers relating to British General Electric (taken over some years ago by G.E.C.). Always interested in early Australian history, documents, news&SHYpapers and so on, Dallas started flicking through the pages of one of the files before sending it on its final journey in a “destination fire” carton.

She does not know why she selected a particular file through which to indulge her hobby — there was a massive quantity of old volumes to be destroyed — but in some way fate took her to the one that contained the letter below and it was saved from the incinerator. A truly remarkable find by Dallas and one The Scottish Terrier Club will treasure.

Attached to the letter to Mr. Caithness was his reply of September 29, 1922 reading:—

“It is with very great pleasure that I learn of my election as a member of The Scottish Terrier Club. I enclose herewith my cheque for 10/6 as requested.

It is interesting to compare the fee of 10/6 in 1922 with Club fees today. True, Mr. Caithness was Chief Engineer and his salary would have been higher than other staff members; however, a quick check through industrial volumes of the period shows that a senior journalist received 8.10.00 weekly, a Grade I meat inspector 400 per annum, a scientific instrument maker 5.1.00 per week, and, of course, most people were on far less than 5 weekly. So 10/6 would have been at least 5 per cent of a top executive salary.

The Scottish Terrier Club has endeavoured to find out something about the 1922 Club but to date our enquiries have not been fruitful.

The house at 13 Cook Street, Randwick, no longer exists. It has been demolished and home units have been erected on the land.

Enquiries among older Club members and associates have also failed to bring forward any information.

If any reader can add to our scant knowledge of the 1922 Club or has friends who may be able to help us trace this aspect of Scottie history, please follow it through and if you have any information let The Scottish Terrier Club know.

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