April 2, 2007
In the early 1980’s when Forrest Hooper and I traveled all over the New England area to shows and looking for fancy poultry, we talked about trying to get clubs started in the four comers of the state. (North, South, East and West). At about that time, the Northern New England Bird Fanciers were holding shows and meetings in the Farmington, Maine area. We then talked about the Central Maine and coastal areas, because many of the poultry fanciers thought it was too far to drive from Belfast, Rockland, Waldoboro, and many other central and coastal towns.
In 1984 we asked the Windsor Fair officials if we could set up a display on the grounds during the fair. They told us some of the horses were leaving on Thursday, and we could use two open stalls on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We set up a nice display and got a lot of attention. During this time at the fair we contacted several poultry fanciers and with Forrest spreading the word at the Feed Store and both of us talking it up with others around the area, we had our first meeting in the fall of ’84. By spring of ’85 things were starting to take shape. Our members came together and worked hard and used their individual talents to set up the “Central Maine Bird Fanciers”. Norm Rau and others set up the by-laws that are used to this day.
In the spring of’85 we had a basket show in Jefferson with the help of Bob Teel, who found us a hall. We also had a meeting at the Al Green Farm and held fund raisers at the Union Fair Grounds. Our meetings are presently held on a monthly basis in the Grange Hall in Washington, Maine.
In the fall of ’85 we held our first “big” show in a tent at the Windsor Fair. The show was such a success that the Fair decided to build a poultry building in 1986. We out-grew this building and in the late ’90’s the fair built a beautiful new building and we are proud to fill it with a quality show every year for the Fair.
The hard work of all of our members over the years has made the Central Maine Bird Fanciers grow to maybe the largest and best club in New England.
I would like to name all of the members that have worked so hard to make our club such a success, but I can’t remember all who have come and gone over the years. We continue to have new members join us also. If you look in the Historian book of the Club that Ray Canning brings to the meetings, you will be able to see most of the names and their contributions.
Thanks to all of our members for their hard work and contributions!
(Forrest) and Austin