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Rockhampton Finch & Parrot Social Club Inc held their Annual Bird Expo on Sunday 7th March 2021. There was a very good showing of vendors from all over Qld with a wide range of Bird Species on show. We where also well supported by some great Distributors Bazza’s Birds, Australian Wildlife Supplies, Joe’s Pie Van (Bernie’s Pies), Valentine Plains Seed & Grains, D & S Aviary Services, Green Steel & Rockhampton Regional Council.

We had a very good number of the public come through the door with all of the vendors reporting they were very happy with the amount of birds which changed hands.

16/08/20 The Rockhampton Finch and Parrot Social Club Inc held our A.G.M. & Monthly Meeting at the Woods residence on Sunday. Thank you to Lance & Sherie for their hospitality. Sherie for the wonderful lunch she prepared for all of us. Lance gave us a quick look around his Masked Lovebirds, Parrotlets, Quails and Finches. How he recycles his seed in a home built Bird Seed Recycler. It was interesting to listen to Lance explain the process of breeding live food for the finches they breed.

02/08/2020 Colin Lester – My Trip to Brisbane to attend the Brisbane Canary Association Garden Show at John & Hang Voet’s place. I would like to congratulate all the winners Mark Story and Liz Ball our president and John Voet and Trevor Cox and Guy Burgess well done. I would like to thank John Voet for showing me through his breeding set up, the judge’s Clem Page and George Calligraos, Judges Assistants Peter, Marcia & Liz Ball for giving me some of their years of Experience & Knowledge (And allowing me to put their pictures up). Thank you very much for making my son and I feel very welcome.

31/07/2020 Colin Lester – My birds have started a bit early this year with some Red Agate Mosaic Canary Babies and some young True Painted Finches jumping the nest.

History of Rockhampton Finch & Parrot Social Club Inc.

Sitting around the kitchen table talking about our birds, Ray & Jan Maroske and Peter & Carole Batey decided to put an advertisement in the Morning Bulletin for anyone interested, to meet at the Rockhampton Gardens to discuss aviculture, and so the Rockhampton Finch & Parrot Social Club Inc was formed July 22nd 2007 with a foundation membership of 12. Ray Maroske became the President and Peter Batey the secretary, I was treasurer. Club meetings were held the 3rd weekend of the month and membership rose to 30 within a short time. The main objective of the club was to promote aviculture, have guest speakers, go on aviary visits, discuss the pros and cons of breeding birds, sort out the rules & regulations together and enjoy social events. Our first Bird Sale, with 12months planning, was held March 1st 2009 in the Exhibition Pavilion at the showgrounds, and it was dreadfully hot with no fans! Entry was $2, u/15 free, vendors’ tables $15 with Australian & Foreign birds for sale. Steve O’Callaghan was an unbelievable asset on the microphone and after an excellent sale our members happily started thinking about the next one.

Mick & Karin Blake became members later that year. Mick’s fantastic newsletters quickly became a club icon, with a wealth of knowledge and information. He also designed our Club Logo for our colourful New Club T Shirts. Members arrived at our home next meeting proudly wearing them – the neighbours came over after the meeting to check it out!

Following the success of our first sale, our 2010 Bird Sale was held at The Cathedral College Multi-Purpose Centre – a beautiful big venue with fans and a well-equipped kitchen for our club ladies/men who supplied cakes, coffee, sandwiches & cooked BBQ sausages; they did a fantastic job and continued doing so for many more sales – you know who you are. Mick became our publicity officer, promoting our club with flyers, talkback radio, internet websites paper articles, while he left the TV and local paper to me. This again was a very successful sale with native and exotic birds and several trade displays. Members happily set up tables, ladies purchased the food & raffles – it was becoming easier.

The Northern Avian Conference in Thuringowa followed in October 2010. Mick had grand ideas about our club joining the Northern Avian Society & several years later club members began travelling to the NAS Conferences at Ingham, Yungaburra, Charters Towers, to name just a few.

The 2011 Bird Sale was again held at The Cathedral College. By now we had a Special Sales Committee to organise jobs at the sale. This was a brilliant idea and worked well. During this sale, Mick took a video of the members with their birds, with his great captions added to each table – it was brilliant. Also, a group photo was taken at the end the sale; pity some members had already left. [I have this video and photo it if anyone wants to look at it].

2012 saw several changes in our club and, at a special meeting after our club’s annual working bee making finch boxes, Ray Maroske was again voted in as President before our March 2012 sale. Mick is madly spreading the word about our sale, so it’s back to the Cathedral College where the ladies are still working in the kitchen and members know their positions I spoke with Queensland Finch Society President Gary Fitt, who decided to hold an Out of Brisbane Club Meeting the day before our sale, at our venue in Rockhampton. A bit ambitious as members had to set up the sale, go home, catch their birds, then return to the venue by 6.30pm. It was a huge success but some very tired vendors the next day – Mt Morgan, Yeppoon & Cawarral are not that close! Queensland Finch Society thanked our members and have always advertised our Sale Flyer the whole page! in their Monthly Magazine, which has members all over Australia. This advertising really helps our Bird Sales and our members thank QFS – it is greatly appreciated.

In 2013 our knowledgeable secretary, Peter Batey, resigned due to work commitments. I can’t say enough about the valuable contribution Peter made to the club and aviculture. Karin Blake took on the position.

Our 2014 sale was held at the Kele Pavilion at the Rockhampton showgrounds. Mick sat up until midnight to collect our tables and return them to Mt Morgan. His support given to me when booking tables, rules, regulations, phone calls, was unbelievable; our club was privileged to have his knowledge. 532 entry tickets were sold, plus raffle tickets, so Treasurer John and Secretary Karin were kept very busy. Members too many to name, cheerfully set up tables packed up and cleaned the old pavilion. We were ever so grateful nobody fell off the ladder when fixing the light. Mick quickly went to work when our seed supplier cancelled days before our sale – what would a sale be without seed? Ashley built and delivered two new catching cages from donated materials.

In 2014, after seven years as President, Ray Maroske resigned at the June AGM. Over the years Ray did an outstanding job with different committee and club members, many bird sales, organising permits, quietly arranging the next monthly meeting, with club members who were willing to have meetings at their homes. Thank you to everyone, especially Lance & Sherie Wood for many years of AGM’s, BBQ’s, working bees, aviary visits to their home. Ray knew the club needed a change and Jim Edwards was elected President in June 2014.

Now Mick wanted the Biggest & Best Hall for our club’s 2015 sale and came up with the Robert Schwarten Pavilion. Club members, vendors and trade people, were stunned with the size and loved the air conditioning. It was a huge success; with several years of practice, members excelled at every position, and everybody was ready to do it all again. Then – 2015 had different ideas for us. Cyclone Marcia hit our area one week before the 2015 Sale – too late to cancel. So, with the Robert Schwarten Pavilion booked, we went ahead and, against the odds, had another successful sale, with hundreds of people involved, even though many had cyclone damage & still no power – awesome effort by club members.

It was a very sad year with the loss of both Brian Kennedy in August and Mick Blake in November. The love of aviculture brought these families together; their wealth of knowledge and experience in breeding birds is sorely missed. I feel very sad writing this, after knowing both families for around 30 years.

It was Jim Edwards’ 2nd year as President and club members prepared for the 2016 Sale, The Mick Blake Memorial Sale, again at the Robert Schwarten Pavilion. Without a doubt many of Mick’s aviculture friends came to pay their respects to the Blake Family. It was the biggest and best sale ever – just what Mick would have wanted; 520 adults, 300 children, vendors, and well over 100 club members. President Jim Edwards has become a nomad, so unanimously Ken Banks was elected in June 2016.

Our 2017 sale is all arranged, only a week away, on Sunday 5th March. Let’s all enjoy the RF&PSC Sale again at the Robert Schwarten Pavilion.

With our 10th Anniversary coming up in July, our club now has over 80 Financial Members.

I have written this to the best of my ability and the way I remember it – 10 years is a long time.

It is an honour to be involved with past and present members in the history of our “Rockhampton Finch & Parrot Social Club”.

People interested in Aviculture are always caring, nature-loving and have wonderful stories about their bird breeding, aviary visits and people they meet over the years. We all need to take more time to enjoy our hobby and nurture the younger generation to carry on our very special Bird Club.

                     Written by Jan Maroske

                       26-2-2017

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