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Founding members

This page pays tribute to some of our long time and dedicated members.

Jean Tormey, Wenella Kennels

Jean passed away on 17th May 2007 in her 89th year. Until a year or so before, Jean attended dog shows with her granddaughter, Leanne, an outing she always enjoyed long after her days in the ring ceased. Her involvement and commitment to the English Setter breed and the English Setter Association of Victoria spanned some 60 years.

Jean, together with a small band of equally dedicated enthusiasts, laid the foundations of our breed club in 1959. She served as secretary from 1963 to 1980/81. It was a much bigger job in those days due to large membership numbers, regular general and monthly committee meetings, and sizeable entries at Championship and Open Shows.

Jean came into the breed at a time when breeders considered an English Setter's function was just as important as its form. Owners and dogs went out hunting one day and exhibited at shows the next, with equal success. Jean obtained her first English Setter in 1948. Torgate Laddie was a working gundog. He worked the paddocks to locate rabbit and quail.

A visit to the 1949 Royal Melbourne Show convinced Jean that Laddie was as good as anything she saw on the day and so the decision was made to show, and in time, breed English Setters.

In 1953 she obtained Elmbrae Judaline who became the foundation bitch at Wenella. Judaline was mated to Ch Manoah Wotan and in June 1957 the first Wenella litter was born. Four champions were produced from this pairing and so Jean's contribution to the breed commenced. It went on to become a dominant force with many notable winners, and was the starting point for a number of exhibitors and breeders who began with a puppy purchased from Jean.

Jean exhibited her English with success both here and interstate. Those early treks to Victorian shows and those across the border were made by train where dogs travelled in the guard's van.

Jean was a gracious winner and just as gracious when the honours didn't go her way. Always willing to share the benefit of her knowledge and experience, she set many a new English Setter owner on the right path, whether the purchase was from her or another breeder. Jean was an expert groomer, and she worked wonders with a small stripping blade to transform the shaggiest English Setter.

Jean had been a life member of the ESA of Victoria Inc, and the memory of Jean's contribution to our breed has been acknowledged in a perpetual award, and more recently kept alive in the renaming of a trophy in her honour - The Jean Tormey Award. The Club's 2007 Championship Show was called the Jean Tormey Memorial Championship Show.

Betty Paterson

Long time ESAV club member, Betty Paterson, passed away in May 2004. Betty was a keen enthusiast of the breed and the ESAV. Her involvement in showing and club administration lasted right up until ill health precluded further participation. She was a wonderful mentor for new members via her many kindnesses and practical advice.

Betty was a club member from approximately 1970. Her two notable dogs of that time were "Tim" Ch Wenella Trumpeter (whelped 1968) (pictured) and "Skipper", Ch Wenella Sovereign (whelped 1970).

Betty’s kennel name was "Trureign" – in her own words "Trureign is derived from the names of two of the breed’s great champions of the 70’s" – and indeed they were.

Tim was ESA Dog of the Year in 1972, Best Exhibit in Show at the ESA Championship Show 1972, Best of Breed Pal International 1972, Challenge Dog Melbourne Royal 1972, Royal Adelaide Challenge winner 1971. Skipper was ESA Dog of the Year 1973, Best of Breed Melbourne Royal 1973 and Best Dog ESA Championship Show 1973.

Tim and Skipper were featured on the cover of the February 1974 KCC Gazette. The caption read:

"Aust Ch Wenella Trumpeter, the Dog Challenge winner at 1972 Royal Melbourne Show, congratulating his half-brother, Aust Ch Wenella Sovereign, the 1973 Challenge and Best of Breed winner. Both these orange belton dogs are from Aust Ch Wenella Sharalea, litter sister of the famous Aust Ch Wenella Shandelle, and are by Zarak Tinty and Aust Ch Stevenell Samual (N) respectively.’ It was also printed that ‘Trumpeter had an impressive list of successes under both Australian and overseas judges as well as in show and in group awards. Sovereign had numerous in group awards to his credit also"

Betty was the club treasurer from the early 70’s through to 1994 when she then became president for that year. She was also a life member and always proudly wore her life member badge to club functions. The Club’s 2004 Championship Show was called the Betty Paterson Memorial Show.

Betty loved her dogs dearly and was also passionate about her work. She worked at the Monash Medical Centre, formerly the Queen Victoria hospital. She was involved with the invitro fertilization research program, and in charge of the "Animal House" at Queen Victoria, a member of the Bio-ethicist committee, at the time the only woman holding this position in Australia.
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