Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Dingoes Win Best in Show at Sydney Royal

From the 1970s Berenice persisted in requesting permission from the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) to have dingo photographs displayed in the Dog Pavilion at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The request in 1979 received the usual indignant and curt response refusing permission on the basis the dingo was vermin!

That same year, same show, Berenice’s young son, Ken entered two photos in the (RAS) Youth Photography Competition. 

His subject was a young Aboriginal woman with Merigal Dingo, Snowgoose; one titled Dingo, Dog of Our People, the other Dreaming. Both were accepted and displayed. Dingo, Dog of Our People happened to be the same photo they refused Berenice permission to display. Out of over 400 entries only 120 were selected to be displayed. The RAS had inadvertently displayed a dingo photo.

Berenice was delighted that in an unexpected and roundabout way two dingo photos graced the hallowed grounds of the RAS showground.

Berenice continued to pester the RAS with no success until 1994 when society member, Christine (Johnson) Anderson, finally cajoled enough RAS members to permit real live dingoes to be on display.

This provided the society an opportunity for the first time to show dingoes in their true light to both rural and city communities.

Christine took her two dingoes, Mingga and Cooma and set up a display drawing plenty of attention with Mingga and Cooma winning everyone hearts.

The presentation was on the final day of dog judging, when Breed Clubs were invited to attend with information and promotional stalls.

It was a major break-through for the society and the RAS were assured only Dingoes with permits would be on display.

The display attracted considerable interest from the public and dingo literature ran out by mid-afternoon.

At the stand members were inundated with general questions about dingoes, Cooma and Mingga in particular, and where more Dingoes could be seen. Many visitors were surprised to learn dingoes were living at Bargo, even a former Bargo resident. Some of the questions asked were 'How can I own a Dingo'? 'Can we breed Dingoes'? 'Why are Dingoes not allowed at more shows'? Most people were glad to see our Dingoes and a lot of genuine sympathy was generated for them.

We were invited back the following year, this time with AussieHost and three other dingoes taking turns to meet the public.

As usual Hostie, along with her fellow PR dingoes, was her calm friendly self and greeted children enthusiastically.

Again, our dingoes and display attracted considerable attention. The highlight was the announcement the society had won best display! Another first for the Merigal Dingoes – a win at an agricultural show and the Sydney Royal no less.

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