Collie Association Founder Members

Unfortunately few pre-war records survived so we do not have a complete list of all founder members, however three very dominant breeder/exhibitor ladies, all living within a small area of London’s more fashionable districts in addition to owning country residences, are known to have exerted a great deal of influence.

Mrs Nadine K. George [Beulah]

Nadine joined the Collie world, during the mid twenties, with a daughter of Ch Backwoods Fashion, establishing an association with the Backwoods Collies which endured until Mr Ball’s death. At Blackpool in June 1936 Mrs George became only the third lady to officiate in a Collie ring at championship level, giving the Challenge Certificates to Backwoods Fellow, a dog she particularly admired, and Eden Edifice. In an effort to preserve her blood-lines Mrs George sent many of her best examples to America or Canada on the out-break of war, but did fortunately retain a nucleus of stock which made it possible for her to re-establish the Beulah lines once shows and breeding recommenced in earnest.

As one of the Collie Association’s founder members, Mrs George accepted the twin posts of Secretary and Treasurer in the immediate 
pre-war period, replacing Miss Molony as Madam Chairman once hostilities had ended. She was also a generous benefactor and amongst the many trophies and specials donated were the Silver Spoons, awarded to major prize winners, much valued at the time, are now viewed with awe by those fortunate enough to see them.

Mrs George, seen here with CH Beulah's Golden Feather and Beulah's Golden Shade. circa 1935

Miss Clare Molony [Westcarrs]

Mrs Molony is thought to be ‘The Collie Association’s’ first Madam Chairman, Miss Molony owned an established line of winning collies long before adding her name to the founder members list. By the time canine activities recommenced after the war, Miss Molony had taken on the more elevated position of President, passing the Chairman’s baton to her friend Mrs George. On Mrs George’s death Miss Molony combined the twin roles of President and Chairman until the latter post was accepted by Mrs Margaret Franklin in 1974. Amongst Miss Molony’s many other canine commitments we feel it necessary to mention that as The Rough Collie Breed Council’s inaugural Chairman and Breed Representative on the Kennel Club’s Liaison Council she was responsible for much of the negotiation which introduced the detailed colour clause into the Rough Collie Standard.

Having been unable to maintain her line throughout the war, Miss Molony set about re-building a winning line on its close, turning to her friend Mrs George for foundation stock. Blue Merle fanciers in particular owe her a debt of gratitude for amongst the many winning Collies to carry this famous affix was Ch Westcarrs Blue Minoru who achieved fame by winning the famous Collie Club Challenge Trophy, awarded to British Collie Club Best In Show winners in 1955, becoming only the second Blue Merle and first Blue Merle male to rise to this achievement. More importantly Minoru proved to be a prepotent sire that did much to re-establish the colour after the ravages of war.

Miss Molony judging Rough Collies Birmingham’s National Dog show 1964

Mrs M. I. (Zoë) Rhys [Hughley]

Accustomed to affluence, educated in Europe and a resident of the same small exclusive fashionable Chelsea area as both Mrs George, and Miss Molony there is no record of Mrs Rhys ever having held office, or serving on the committee despite being one of the Collie Association’s founder members. Certainly the then rule which precluded members living more that 100 miles from London from either office or committee would have prevented such involvement after she settled in Shropshire.

A loyal Smooth Collie supporter, having bred and exhibited winning stock since 1920, the Hughley affix, derived from the small Shropshire village which became her home, was not registered until 1947. Bitterly opposed to the amalgamation of the original Smooth Collie Club, in 1932, Mrs Rhys enthusiasm for the Collie Association undoubtedly stemmed from her friendship with both Mrs George, and Miss Molony who not only owned Smooth Collies in partnership with Zoë, but also adopted her pre-war practice of naming all her collies with two word names using the initials B. D., although in Miss Molony’s case these were preceded by her Westcarrs affix.

Having judged our Championship Show in 1955, where she awarded Ch Mywicks Meadowlancer his first CC, she concentrated her interest on the newly formed Smooth Collie Club of Great Britain, of which she was a founder member, serving it in several capacities, including President from 1971 until 1983 when she was elevated to Patron a post she held until her death in 1986.

Mrs Zoe Rhys with three of her
Smooth Collies – circa 1925