Significant Events in the History of the Australian Cat Federation (ACF) Inc.

Special Moments

The 1997 (25th anniversary) ACF Yearbook contained a potted history of the organisation spanning the period from its formation in 1972 to the (then) present day and the following sections record the activities of the subsequent decade.

Twenty–five years of ACF and appropriately (as ACF was "born" via Western Australia’s vision) Perth put on a spectacular show at the Fremantle International Terminal with "Silver Anniversary" as the theme. The guest international judges were Sandra Perry and Chris McNeil from New Zealand. Waratah State Cat Alliance was admitted as a member body of the ACF. The year also saw the acceptance of many new breeds and colours – Japanese Bobtail, Scottish Fold Longhair, Singapura and Tonkinese (to be shown in Mink pattern only). The Scottish Shorthair ("pert" or straight–eared) was given provisional recognition as were the Burmilla and Bombay. New colours accepted were the Cinnamon and Apricot in Group 2, shaded/tipped Orientals, smoke bicolour Persian, tortie smoke and white Persians, and shaded/tipped bicolour/tortie and white Persians. Having received nothing but excellent reports on Bengal temperament, ACF was pleased to give the Bengal full recognition.

This year also saw the retirement of long–standing Honorary Secretary, Julian Schuller (Northern Territory) and the appointment of the present Secretary, Nell Evans (South Australia). It also saw the resignation of Haidee Lowe (Northern Territory) as Treasurer and she was replaced by Margaret Bush (Western Australia). Lesley Morgan Blythe retired as Secretary of the Judges Guild, to be replaced by Sandi Gemmell (a position that Sandi from the Northern Territory still holds). Helen Farmer (Tasmania) remained in her position as President of the Judges Guild.

The show itself produced a first. The Supreme Exhibit this year (Skylandia Make My Day, a cream bicolour Persian) was none other than the litter brother of the 1996 Supreme winner, Skylandia Song N Danceman (a red bicolour Persian). The Reserve Supreme Exhibit was a tawny Abyssinian, BGC Alazar Good Onya, and third was a Russian Blue, Ch. Niedra Lizette.

Nobody could have foretold the tumultuous 12 months that would follow this meeting when, within a couple of months, ACF would be without its President and Vice–President. In August, the death of our esteemed President of 11 years, The Hon. Lance Barnard AO, sent shockwaves through ACF. This was closely followed by the resignation of the Vice President, Paul Doody (Western Australia). As a result, ACF appointed. Lesley Morgan Blythe (Tasmania) as Acting President and Keryn Rivett (Victoria) as Acting Vice–President. Together with the new Secretary and Treasurer, ACF was poised to head into a new era.