Before we got online, we didn’t realize how many people really enjoyed these big, beautiful dogs. We met some dog lovers while playing slots online.
In the Our Dogs of 20th February 1897, under “Toy Dog Talk” there was notice of a proposed Meeting to be held on 22 February at the house of Mr. Howard Spicer (later Sir Howard Handley Spicer) to discuss the formation of a Club for the Brussels Griffon Fanciers. A report of the meeting appeared later on 27 February and this was pronounced a success – “the Club will start with good prospects of making itself useful to those interested in the little red Belgium dogs”.
At a meeting on March 6 1897 of the Griffon Bruxellois Club (England) there were noted to be fifteen members of the Club. Registration by the Kennel Club followed in 1898 but the first separate Club Show was not held until 1913. Championship status was granted in 1924. Miss A. Gordon became the first Hon. Secretary and she held the post from 1897 to 1905. There is a continuous record of Hon. Secretaries right up to the present. The Count and Countess Henri of Bylandt became the first Patrons of the Club. Mrs. Harcourt Clare was shown as President in 1897 but there are no records showing who the Presidents were in the years between 1897 to 1930. Mrs. Pepper became President in 1930 and continued until 1939. The first recorded Chairman was Major Reynell in 1931. Prior to that the Chairman was appointed for each meeting.
Two of the main contributors to the success of the Griffon Bruxellois Club and the Breed itself, following the second World War, were Miss Marjorie Cousens (Seagry) and Mrs. Eileen Street (Skibbereen). They started in the 1930’s and in the case of Mrs. Street continued into the early 1990’s. Mrs. Street served variously as Treasurer, President and Chairman. Miss Cousens was Hon. Secretary and also served as Chairman. Her principal contribution however was to write the Foyles Handbook (1960) entitled Griffons Bruxellois and to analyse and list the Breed lines in the Second Book of the Griffon Bruxellois which was published after her death. Copies of both of these publications are very rare indeed.
In 1954 the Club introduced a magazine for its members. Miss Forward (Enavant) was the first Editor. One interesting name mentioned as a Committee member, is that of Miss B. Gorringe who joined the Committee in 1953 and who is still serving today, she was Club President from 1990 to 1993. The magazine was published quarterly then three times a year and this has continued right up to the present. A complete set is held in the Club Archives. Although activity was curtailed the Club continued to work during the two world wars (breeding was forbidden in the first world war, and although not forbidden there was little breeding in the second war)
The Club has a fine record of supporting the breed with shows, events and encouraging breeders for over a century but it does not intend to rest on its laurels and is firmly committed to going forward into the 21st Century promoting this charming breed – the Griffon Bruxellois.