The pictorial record shows that many small dogs and small spaniels came to Australia during colonial times but the first official Cavalier King Charles Spaniels to come to Australia modern times in 1960 were resident in Victoria. However the first Breed Club was formed by a small groups of enthusiasts in NSW in 1968.
An unofficial Club meeting was held on the 11th February 1968, at French’s Forest, the minutes shown below.
The first Official Club meeting was held 13th March 1968 at the Auburn home of Shirlee Leach who later became the Club Patron.
Office Bearers elected were:
President Mrs Myra Leach (Leagay Cavaliers)
Vice Presidents Mrs Helena Hendry (Gaysprite) and Mrs A Dixon (Dai Jon)
Secretary Mrs B Martin
Treasurer Mrs H Clark
The Committee comprised Mrs S Leach, Mrs Chandler, Mrs T Dixon, Mrs J Blackall and Mr H Clark. Club Patroness was Lady Forwood of the Eyeworth Cavaliers in England, who had sent a number of the early Cavaliers to Australia, Vice Patrons HRH The Princess Margaret and well known local vet Dr Harry Spira.
Business conducted at the meeting included plans for the first Club Parade, a suggestion that there should be a competition to design the club badge, and that copies of the proposed Constitution of the club be forwarded to all members.
During the early years of the club, the shows were held in a number of grounds, St Ives being a popular venue, Castle Hill showground, and various small local parks.Today, all Club shows are held at the Bill Spilstead Complex for Canine Affairs, Orchard Hills.
The first Championship show took place in 1969 judged by Mr Roy Burnell, a very well known Gundog personality. Best in Show was the tricolour A Ch Gaysprite Ariel bred and owned by Mrs Hendry. Ariel was a prolific winner, repeating his success in 1970 under judge Mr G Holmes and winning the Club Point Score in 1968, 1970 and 1973.
In 1971 Ch Gaysprite The Regent became the first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to win a Best In Show award in Australia. The first Best In Show by a Cavalier at a Royal Show went to Ch Amantra Bohemian Rhapsody (Imp UK) at the Canberra Royal Show in 1981.
The Club’s 10th Anniversary show in 1978 was held at Hawkesbury Agricultural College at Richmond. Our Club Parton Lady Forwood made the long journey to Australia to judge. It was a magnificent entry of 211 with dogs coming from most parts of the country, an entry not to be surpassed for many years. BIS was D Montford’s ruby dog Ch Chandlers King Midas (UK). Bitch CC and Ru Best in Show was Shirlee Leach’s Blenheim Ch Garaig Henrietta.
It was also in our tenth Anniversary year the Club produced its first Year Book, documenting the history of the club and the breed in Australia. This publication continues today, a huge achievement for a small breed speciality club and we celebrate the continuing success of the Club in all its activities.
The current Club Logo was created in 2004. The artwork was done by Australian artist Dierdre Hunt. Born in Melbourne in 1939, Deirdre Hunt is a prolific wildlife painter and is a member of the Wildlife Art Society of Australia. The logo features 2 of the breed standard, a Blenheim representing the parti-colours, Blenheim and Tri-colour; and a Black and Tan, representing the whole colours Black & Tan and Ruby. They are encircled with the Club name, black writing on Chestnut.
For the 50th year celebrations the logo has been enhanced, and will be so, for the whole of the 50th year. The enhancement includes an outer embossing of the Club years as in a stamped gold coin.