NCA AGM 2015 70 Years
Representing and Defending U.K. Bird Keepers
NCA Management Committee who attended
the 2015 AGM
Chairman Chris Smith commenced the
2015 Annual General Meeting of the National Council for Aviculture at 11am on Saturday,
11th April at the Charnwood Arms Hotel, Coalville, Leicestershire. The organisation thus
commenced its 70th year of representing the UKs bird keepers. Members of all four
parent bodies (the Canary Council, the Budgerigar Society, The Foreign Bird Federation and
the British Bird Council) and representatives of affiliated clubs were in attendance.
In his opening remarks and in a
written report distributed before the meeting the chairman reflected on the irony that in
its first year, 1945, the NCA was grappling with government regulations regarding the
importation of seed in the aftermath of the Second World War and now, 70 years later, the
NCA is once again grappling with government both UK and European - over
regulations affecting the species we are allowed to keep, breed and exhibit.
Though the UK is renowned for its
love of pets of all kinds there are those activists who would dearly like to restrict or
prevent any form of pet-keeping and determinedly lobby the European Parliament and our own
government to that end including the keeping of birds of all kinds. The latest trend is to
demand white lists of the species which may be kept and to exclude all others.
The justification given is to curb the exotic pet trade but there are implications for the
trading and keeping of familiar pet species including birds. Cancellations of recent
reptile events in the UK are evidence of the effectiveness of such lobbying. The chairman
urged members of all the parent bodies to sign the handsoffmyhobby campaign to
resist this trend.
Chris Smith also offered his
congratulations to those UK exhibitors at the January World Show in Rosemalen this year
especially NCA Secretary, Ghalib Al-Nasser, who won 4 gold and 3 silver medals with his
budgerigars and Brian Hogg, Canary Council Chairman, who won a silver. During the two
weeks in which the Chairman himself acted as a conveyor of UK birds to the 2015 World Show
he gained a real insight to the workings of this impressive event and to the effort
involved by all who help stage it every year. One less attractive aspect of the experience
was the caging and display of some birds in the trades sales section of the World Show
where numbers of birds in display cases or cages seemed sometimes excessive. It was
decided to raise this issue through C.O.M.UK with the World Show organisers at C.O.M.
Written reports from the Secretary
and Treasurer, Ghalib Al-Nasser, had been distributed before the meeting together with an
Income and Expenditure Account for the calendar year 2014. He was pleased to report a much
smaller loss on the year than in 2013. This was explained in part by the increase in
numbers of affiliated clubs and others taking up the excellent NCA Public Liability
Insurance policy which covers all meetings, shows and activities of clubs who purchase it.
Income has also been secured from sale of publications, e.g. Caring For Canaries,
and the new NCA badges which are available @£3 + 70p p&p.
A larger team of birds went to the
World Show in 2015 and we hope for a further increase in 2016 when the show is taking
place in Matosinhos, Portugal, open to the public 21st-24th January 2016.
Since the 2014 AGM Brian Byles has
been added to the NCA Hall of Fame and George & Jill Lewsey entered onto the Roll of
Honour. Long Service Awards have been approved for members of City of Bath CBS, Grantham
CBS, Preston CBS and the Zebra Finch Society.
Outgoing President Dennis Webster
of the Foreign Bird Federation thanked the NCA for the honour of electing him to serve as
President over the past year. It had been another significant year for us in that more
clubs have affiliated to the NCA to take advantage of the insurance scheme and other
protections offered as we face potential legislative threats from the antis in
the UK and Europe. Dennis wished newly-elected President Bob Partridge of the British Bird
Council all the best for the year ahead and handed over the official insignia of office.
Bob thanked the NCA for the trust placed in him and promised that while continuing to
fight for the rights of British Bird keepers he would work for the whole bird keeping
fraternity during his year of office.
Two minor rule changes concerning
the voting powers of Honorary Life Vice Presidents were approved unanimously. The outgoing
President was awarded status as an Honorary Life Vice President.
The date and venue of the next
Annual General Meeting were agreed as: Saturday,
9th April 2016 at 11am at the Charnwood Arms Hotel.
Details of the NCA constitution,
award scheme, history, meetings and all other NCA activities can be found on the NCA
The aptly named Bob Partridge is
no stranger to high office within the bird keeping world. He is a founder member of the
British Bird Council which came into being in 1972 and is currently its President
following on from his eminent predecessor, the late, great Victor Carr. Bob has spent a
lifetime keeping birds of all varieties from poultry, to pigeons, to foreign birds -
including some rare North American specimens which he imported under licence to establish
breeding programmes in the UK but throughout he has had a soft spot for native
species being especially fond of Redpolls and Greenfinches. In common with many exhibitors
Bob likes a good un a bird of good type and size. He is an
accomplished hybridiser and remembers with pride winning the Best Mule Hybrid at the
English National and Scottish National Exhibitions back in 1981/2 with a cock canary x
crossbill hen mule. This unusual bird caught the attention of Eric Peake, the renowned
artist, who painted its picture from which subsequently prints were made and sold. Bobs
expertise and knowledge of every aspect of British Birds and the legislation that affects
them makes him a perfect representative for the fancy when dealing with DEFRA and European
Following the Annual General
Meeting of the NCA the Management Committee held its first meeting of the new year at
which the following officers were elected:
Chairman: Chris Smith (Fife
Vice-Chair and Minute Secretary:
Dennis Webster (Foreign Bird Federation)
Secretary, Treasurer and Web-site
Manager: Ghalib Al-Nasser (Budgerigar Society)
Publicity Officer: Barry Mills (Canary Council)
Awards Panel: Robb Brown (British Bird Council), Brian Hogg
(Canary Council), Dave Paine (Foreign Bird Federation) and Roger Carr (Budgerigar
The post of CBS Liaison Officer
remains unfilled and Chris Smith, Chairman, agreed to review the job description and make
an announcement through Cage & Aviary Birds.
It was agreed as part of the
celebration of our 70th year anniversary to research and extend the history section of the
NCA web-site; to issue special 70th anniversary rosettes to all affiliated clubs; to
design a special set of diplomas for presentation in each section at the National
Exhibition and possibly diplomas for affiliated clubs to use at their shows. It was also
noted that there is to be a section at the National Exhibition this year for London Fancy
The Awards Panel discussed and
approved the following:
Hall of Fame: Mick Watton to be
entered into the Hall of Fame after a lifetime of service to aviculture.
NCA Long Service Badges:
A letter received from The
Budgerigar Society recommending the following:
Gold: Ghalib Al-Nasser, Jeff
Atwood, Charlie Bowman, Ray Brown, Grant Findlay, Robert Francis, Donald McCallum, Greg
Norris, Eric Peake, Dave Taylor, Ken Whiting and Alec Woan.
Silver: Janice Al-Nasser, Dave
Hislop, Peter Hutchinson, Beverley Hutt and Maurice Roberts.
Bronze: Gordon Grist and Ronald
Arrangements were underway for
staffing the NCA stand at the National Exhibition and other events. The Chairman requested
further additions to the range of purchasable items from the NCA stand. In addition to the
free Welcome to Bird Keeping booklets there were several publications from the
Canary Council and Yorkshire Canary Club, plus the new NCA badge (@ £3 plus 70p P&P
from NCA Secretary).
Following the success of
the 2015 World Show it was hoped to increase numbers of birds and exhibitors from the UK
for the 2016 show at Matosinhos, Portugal, open to the public from 21st to 24th January
Date and venue of next meetings:
Saturday July 4th starting at 14.00 (following the COM-UK meeting at the Fieldhead Hotel,
Markfield) and Wednesday 14th October at 10.30 at
the Charnwood Arms Hotel, Coalville.