South Australian history of

staffords in the 60s and 70s 

by G & S Swalling 

(first published 1995)

Staffords have been in SA for a considerable time mainly as pets of British migrants who brought their pets with them.   At no little expense even in those days.

The first litter that can be traced was bred by Bob Winfield whose bitch "Game Spot" was mated to Jim Craig's Aust.Ch. Loggerheads Saladin (imp NZ), she whelped on the 1st January 1966, one bitch.   This bitch was bought by Tom and Shirley Brookshaw.

1966 saw the start of Staffords being exhibited in South Australia, and the establishment of the breed.   We registered our original prefix "Marabank" in that year and the Brookshaws registered their prefix "Shawbrook".
Latter that year we acquired our foundation bitch "Loggerheads Helle" from Marion Forester in New Zealand and in 1967 "Loggerheads Jim Crow" joined her in our kennels.

At the same time Ted Eling was busy establishing the breed in Whyalla, bringing "Kilkerran Billy Boy" into South Australia and importing the bitch "Loggerheads Fillida" from Marion Forester.

Ted's prefix was "Killibinbin" and these were the first of a considerable number of quality Staffords imported to South Australia from Marion Forester over many years, a large number of which had a lasting influence on the breed here.

In 1967 the Brookshaws acquired "Cudjelo Squire Joe" from Noel Newhan of NSW. Other dogs to have an impact in the early years, although not South Australian, were Newham's "Cudjelo Young Rebel", Les Dendall's "Micanlyn Woodash Yorkish and "Mowcop Maestro (imp NZ)". Also in about the late 60s a brindle dog arrived in Whyalla from England as a family pet. This was "Lockwoods Laird" by whom Ted Eling bred a couple of litters.

Staffords were not un-noticed in the show ring in the early years either, "Loggerheads Helle" securing our first Group award as Puppy in 1966 at the Colomeke Kennel Club Championship Show. As far as we can ascertain, this was the first Group Award given to a Stafford in South Australia and offcourse was the Forerunner of a huge number of Group and In-Show Awards since. In the '66 and '67 Royals, Staffords had to be exhibited under the A.O.V. terriers.

Other breeders in that era (late 60's) were Allan Stanley - (prefix Caisson) with "Rusty Tigress" and Ken Henson - (prefix Santommy) and his bitch Cudjelo Brindle.
These gentlemen, like most early Staffords owners in South Australia, were English migrants who knew and loved Staffords at home and went looking for a Stafford when they arrived here.

Dr. Kit McCarthy acquired "Shawbrook Amelia" from the Brookshaws and bred under the "Coup de Grace" prefix. One dog she bred "Coup de Grace Super Boy" was the first Stafford in SA to gain his CD.

There were a number of people who obtained Staffords in the early years from the breeders mentioned, but mainly as pets. Sometimes they showed for a while but rarely bred, preferring to enjoy their dogs as family pets.

Over the ensuing years we imported a number of dogs from New Zealand, several other breeders imported one or two and a few came from the Eastern States. As most of the imports came from Marion Forester, the Loggerheads prefix figured very heavily in dogs bred in SA. As Marion regularly imported from the UK, over the years a good selection of different lines was available.

In that era also, we were all very close and a bitch encountering, whelping problems at the Stafford's favourite whelping time, in the middle of the night, would see people crossing town to assist, as well as dragging Vets out of bed at unearthly hours - Kit McCarthy got a fair bit of that.

In early 1972 we imported "Ngakowhai Kotiro" from NZ in whelp to :Ch.Rapparee Hard Case"(imp UK). She was also to figure strongly (and still does) in many pedigrees.
Ted Kirk bought his first Stafford, Marabank Endora from that litter and we kept Marabank Eliza who was quite a prolific winner for the period she was shown.

The 70's saw the breed start to expand rapidly with many more breeders and exhibitors appearing on the scene. One of these was Chas Grimes with his "Brindleshire" prefix. Also as this time many more dogs started arriving from NSW, which had only been a trickle intil then.

In 1976 we bred Marabank Lucretia, in 1977 imported Rusden Squire from NZ, and in 1978 received Wellwisher of Wystaff from Marion. All these made a significant impact on the breed, both in Australia and New Zealand. "Dodger" (Wellwisher of Wystaff), in particular, was shown only 11 times for his Australian title, including three group and one In-Show award.

We changed our prefix during the 70's to "Bilstonwake" and we were also given Sue's father, John Sheward's prefix "Broomsquires", after he passed away in 1980.

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