MALTESE IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
Information taken from Topknots Magazine 1983 written by J E George
Its difficult to obtain, or I may say impossible, to obtain details about Maltese dogs registered before 1956, in South Australia.
Luckily two of our members have records and memories for 1956 and I feel that both of these ladies Mrs. Joan Constable and Mrs. Alice Alexander, did most of the ground work to get this delightful breed recognized here in S.A, especially in the professional show ring.
Joan has kept most of her original records for the arrival of her first Maltese purchased in July 1956 from Mrs. Sykes of Wimpole Kennels, Sydney. He was just 8 weeks old and had the grand name of Wimpole White Flash.
Joan proudly showed White Flash in his first show when he was just 4 months old. This was in the Canine Fanciers Show Judged by Mr. Turner. There was a great deal of interest shown in this bundle of white fluff, which was awarded best puppy.
Flash was the beginning of a long line of Maltese for Joan who went from strength to strength, showing White Flash in his first Adelaide Royal Show in 1957. He was to gain his title in 1957. Joan soon followed up with the purchase of Geneva Labell in 1956. This little bitch was 22 months old when purchased and Joan had her first litter from these two Maltese in June 1957, it was a little of SIX!
Since then Joan has bred and shown many Maltese with lots of success, although it wasn't until February, 1961 when she purchased Wimpole Joy Belle a beautiful little bitch sired by the then New English Import Jaques of Yelwa (Imp Uk) this little really put the Maltese into the limelight, and Joan went ahead to win groups and Open in Show which must have really been something in those days to win over Pekingese and Poms which were in the majority.
Cute and Rare.. That's these four Maltese owned by Mrs. Joan Constable of Kilkenny. They are being prepared for this years Royal Adelaide Show.
This Photo and report ere published in the Advertiser dated 1st August 1966.
Joan showed her Maltese in the Adelaide Royal Show with no competition from 1957 ? 1960 when her mother joined her in law who had purchased another Wimpole dog from the original Kennels. Joan, in her many years of breeding and showing, has bred many dogs that have gone on to become Australian Champions. There are several of Joan?s dogs, under her kennel prefix of Colchester, now residing in UK, Singapore and various states of Australia.
I found it very interesting talking to Joan and looking at her records, as, in the early days, grooming, as we all know it today was almost non-existent. The dogs were bathed and brushed but really little else was done to them, as you can see by the photographs.
They certainly look somewhat different than our show dogs of today, who are presented so immaculately. Of course they didn?t have the tremendous range of 'doggy beauty products' available to us, or the range of professional stainless steel tools of the trade e.g. Nail clippers, Hair pluckers, Teeth Scrapers, the dozens of different brushes or the dozens of different sized combs. I often think how confusing it must be for a newcomer to the showring to be confronted with all the many different aids and I really do wonder how many of the professional people still make do with the good old bristle brushes etc.
Veterinary fees in those early days were really quite high compared with today's costs, which most of us feel are very high. They haven?t altered a great deal considering the tremendous rise in the general cost of living. I managed to get one example: Distemper-Hepatitis in 1956 was approx. $4-20 (pounds) against today's coat of $12-00 (Dollars).
Most of the shampoos were just ordinary household ones, but worming tablets, for example, were very expensive. On the whole it was, as is today, a very expensive hobby to breed and show Maltese or any other breed.
Joan sold a bitch, Colchester Anya, in 1956 to Mrs. Alexander, who at the time was very well known around the show ring owing to her great success with Yorkshire Terriers, but who decided to buy on of the irresistible Maltese. Little did she know that the tiny Maltese would, eventually take, over her kennels and dominate her life.