To furnish and exchange knowledge of pet birds, and to promote the breeding, raising, and showing of caged birds.
To facilitate the obtaining of necessary equipment and supplies.
To introduce the general public to the field of Aviculture.
The History of GKCAS as remembered by the late Earl Courts.
(Reprinted from our 2010 Show Catalog)
In June 1975, the Greater Kansas City Avicultural Society was started by six families who met at the home of Bill and Bettye Brice. Members attending the first meeting were Red and Iola Barrett, Bill and Bettye Brice, Jim and Nina Couch, Earl and Shirley Courts, Dick and Angie Lodge, and Don and Della Rhodes. It was Bill Brice who called everyone to come to a meeting at his home: he was elected first president of GKCAS and is considered the founder of the Society.
We met to talk birds in a different member's home each month, until GKCAS gained enough members to have a regular meeting place:then meetings were held at Loose Park in Kansas City for several years, and later at an area library.
Iola Barrett was a long time Budgerigar exhibitor, and was interested in having a bird show, so she was elected as our first show manager. At that time, bird fairs were a new thing, and not many were being done by bird clubs. Iola was strongly aginst bird fairs, so some of us started smaller specialty clubs in order to have bird fairs. We were fortunate enough have long time canary breeders and exhibitors, Harold Sodamann and Mark Whiteaker, as members to give us their guidence and expertise. They judged the canaries at our shows many times.
GKCAS was privilaged to host the National Cage Bird Show in 1981. Don Freeland was our show manager at the time. This was a tremendous responsibility for the young club, but with the help of Mark Whiteaker and Harold Sodamann, we were able to have a great show.
Cockatiels were just starting to become popular in this area. They were being shown with the hookbills at that time. We gained a new member named Carter Atwood, who became interested in showing cockatiels and began encouraging other members to show cockatiels. Soon the entries became large enough that we were given a division for cockatiels. We traveled to other bird shows, and began bringing back color mutations that had not been seen in this area before.
As with any organization, especially one over 30 years old, we have had our ups and downs: problems finding large enough space for our shows, club finances that haven't always been what we would like, but, somehow, we always make it work out. After each show, Mark Whiteaker would ask, "Was it worth it?". In the end I have always felt it was, and that we had a great show.
GKCAS Show Advisor
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