Book of Recognition Inductee 2016
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Don Simpson (Ian’s father) first introduced Ian to exhibition poultry back in 1963 at the ripe old age of seven years old. Although Ian’s father was already keeping and showing poultry Don thought that Ian was old enough to look after a few old English Game bantams on his own.
Ian’s father, back in those days owned a large block of land in Noble Park, Victoria and keeping fowl was no problem because their next door neighbour was a good distance away. Everybody had poultry in their backyards in those days including Roy Lucas, who was a neighbour of Ian’s and a renowned Langshan breeder.
Don Simpson, (who is Ian’s greatest mentor), encouraged Ian to continue to play sport (Aussie rules – the real football) but Don also encouraged Ian to become involved in the same poultry clubs that both Ian’s parents were members off.
In the sixties, there were plenty of junior exhibitors and the competition was keenly fought. At some of the large shows there would be at least 150 junior birds penned on most occasions and because of the encouragement that Ian received from his father, and the good strain that Ian started with, Ian was lucky enough to win his share of best junior awards, including three majors at the Melbourne royal show.
At age sixteen and now showing in senior classes, competition was very tough with his OEG black red willow legged bantams as Ian was now showing against some of the best breeders and exhibitors in Victoria. Names such as Alan Toomey, Maurie Jarvis, Les Lee, Rolly Meddings, Neville Beever, Ian Nash, Bruce Trewin, Graham Spedding, Bob Armstrong, Bill Harvey, Bill Semmens and Barry Bilton just to name a few that Ian competed against. At this period in time, Ian was fortunate to receive a few place cards but most importantly it was a huge learning experience, especially with the presentation of birds.
At sixteen years of age Ian became a hard feather judge in Victoria and started to officiate at many agricultural shows and also at a few club annual shows. Mr. Barry Bilton was the VPFA examiner for the hard feather classes and he certainly knew his topic. Barry has an excellent knowledge of hard feather birds and was very keen to share it with the younger fanciers.
Judging is something that Ian enjoys and he finds it very rewarding and interesting travelling to new places, meeting other poultry exhibitors and to judge other people’s birds from different parts of the country. Another rewarding moment for Ian is meeting younger exhibitors and passing on any encouragement that Ian can give them.
Ian was 20 years old when he obtained his first Melbourne Royal Show appointment and since then he has officiated at the Adelaide Royal Show, Hobart Royal and the Melbourne Royal Show on many occasions.
Ian first became involved with modern game bantams when he met Bruce Paton in Melbourne and Ian really admired these finely built and very majestic birds that Bruce was showing. Bruce is a very successful showman and he always presents his fowl in top condition.
The colours of moderns Ian keeps are black reds (partridge-bred), piles, blue reds and Duckwings.
With respect to Ian’s future retirement plans, he sees his hobby and modern game bantams playing a very important part in the latter half of his life.
Ian firmly believes that the inception of the modern game promotional society has really brought our breed of poultry to the forefront and really demonstrates that we enjoy our breed of fowl but it also shows that we are serious about promotion and preservation of this unique breed of poultry in our country.
It attempts to bring together all admirers of this breed in a social, friendly and competitive environment. This can only be good for the future of our breed. This has been established through the running of the MGPS National Annual shows and the continued production of our magazines, and the MGPS panel of judges.
Ian has been an executive committee member of MGPS for four consecutive years as the MGPS Judging and Standards Director and heading for his fifth year.
Ian holds 35 consecutive medals from the Melbourne Royal and out of those 35 medals he has judged 3 or 4 times and the rest are for serving as a Steward. Ian's father Don currently holds the Presidents medal and is a life member, an honour bestowed upon him for his continued service to the Melbourne Royal.
The Modern Game Promotional Society 2009