Al-Nasser - A Profile
LIKE many fanciers, my start into Aviculture was at an early age. As a young boy I had 3 pigeons kept on top of the flat roof of our house in Basrah, Iraq. I used to enjoy seeing them flying around the neighbourhood. The Middle East is famous for their fancy pigeons. At the age of 11 years the family moved house to an up market area and the pigeons ended up in the pot! A year later I was able to persuade my parents to let me have a spherical wire cage and four budgerigars and eventually a dog. I had great pleasure from sitting in the lounge watching their activities and really at the time I had no knowledge of them or books to read. I kept replacing any that died but do remember one to be a Yellow (could have been a Lutino).
My family sent me to England in 1962, at the age of 16 and on my own, to study and I completed my Mechanical Engineering studies in 1970. Southend on Sea, Essex was my first town to live in and today I still classify it as my second home. A year or so later I met my first wife Shirley and then bought her a baby budgie and a cage. Again the budgie was replaced 3 or 4 times for reasons of dying or flying away. The last was an Albino cock, which was so tame and friendly with our little Chihuahua dog.
In 1971 I visited a bird show at the end of the famous Southend Pier and was fascinated by the various colours in budgerigars. I bought a pair consisting of a Dominant Pied Opaline Grey Green cock and a Cinnamon Skyblue hen. I also joined Southend & District B&FBS and read every book that I could get hold of and was even more fascinated by the crested variety (love at first sight). Contacting the BS secretary for addresses of crested breeders resulted me in joining the Budgerigar Society late that year. In 1972 I joined my area society the London & Southern Counties BS, Crested BC and the Variegated BC and have never looked back since.
At the Southend club I learnt my initial craft with show administration through my close friendship with Vic & Doreen Springett. I still have the fondest of affection for them and memories of that club and the few older members that are still there and 30 odd years later I was honoured to be their President in 2001/2 as well as the show manager.
My fondest memories of my early years was my success on the show bench and especially that of winning Best Crest and Best Recessive Pied at the 1973 BS Club Show as a beginner. Due to the break up of my marriage I sold my entire stud (apart from 20) in January 1979 and eventually moved to the Croydon area in Surrey in 1980. The 20 birds, consisting of 7 champion registered Crests and Recessive Pieds, were given to my late friend and ex-partner Ron Bissell to breed with. In November 1982 I went into partnership with the late Ron and built my birdroom again in 1983 and recommenced keeping and breeding budgerigars.
During those 4 years without birds I became even more involved in the administration side of the hobby. The 3 years that we were in partnership (dissolved in June 1986) we had huge successes with the two specialist varieties (Crests & Recessive Pieds) at the BS show and all around the country. Wins to remember during the partnership was achieving Best Recessive Pied at the BS Club Show in 1984 and 1985 with the same bird (Cobalt cock) and also in 1985 winning Best Pied in Show with that bird and also Best Recessive Pied at the 1985 BS Convention. Two records that have never been repeated as yet.
1987 saw a new partnership forming in my life and in 1990 Janice and I moved to our first home in Kent and officially went into budgerigar partnership and eventually got married in 1995. In late May 2009 we moved to our new home in the rural village of Pentlow, near Sudbury, Suffolk. Another show record that I hold which have not been repeated again was winning Best Crest at the BS Club Show (circular Grey Green cock) three consecutive years 1987-89. This bird also won Best Crest at the BS 1990 Convention but never made it to the 1990 BS Club Show. However his daughter did and won Best Crest Any Age.
Janice and I have enjoyed reasonable success on the show bench with winning CCs at nearly every show that we exhibit at including that of Best Any Age in Show at the 1998 National Exhibition and Best Any Age Opposite Sex at the 2000 Southern Classic championship show. Many times we have won 2nd and 3rd champion any age and young bird. In 2008 we won best champion any age and best opposite sex in show at the South Eastern BC championship show and best opposite sex at the Ipswich BS. 2009 was a good show season for us in our new home, winning best in show at Brentwood championship show and best opposite sex in show at the South Midlands BS area show.
As I mentioned earlier I became involved in the administration side of the hobby at an early stage in my life and especially with the specialist clubs. They are best summarised as follows:
Crested BC - Joined the committee in 1973 (retired 2001), assistant secretary in 1974, secretary 1976-86, chairman 1986-96 and president in 1993-96. Life vice-president and life member. Elected as chairman again in 2005 and now serving as chairman, secretary & publicity officer.
Variegated BC - Joined the committee in mid 70's and was their technical adviser, Southern Group Organiser for a number of years and vice chairman. Was president in 1981 and 1993, also life vice president. Retired from the management committee in 1994 but re-joined again in 2014.
Spangled BBA - Co-founder of the Association in November 1987 (2 of us with Fred Canham founded the club) and their first chairman until 1996 and president 1993-96 and life vice-president. Elected as Chairman again in 2008 and now serving as chairman, secretary & publicity officer.
Rare Variety & Colour BS - Joined the committee as their chairman in 1998, as their president in 2001 and also Life Vice-president and now serving as chairman, secretary & publicity officer
For the above 4 clubs I have written their Handbooks (60 page A5 size glossy publications).
London & SCBS - Joined the committee in 1984 as their publicity officer. Very active senior officer; have held numerous positions in the past including that of editor (4 years), seminar organiser (7 years), President in 1989, vice chairman (10 years), show organiser of the area show (10 years) and president to the Council of Judges as well as their publicity officer. I wrote their handbook in 1990 and again in 2001. I retired from the committee in 2002. Was elected again as joint President with Janice in 2006. In 2012 I was re-elected again as the Shows Organiser and rejoined the committee again in 2013 and re-elected again as Vice-chairman in 2014.
Budgerigar Society - I was elected to the General Council in 1989 and am now one of their senior councillors. Was publicity officer in 1992-97 and served on the two senior committees (General Purpose & Finance committee and the Judges Panel & Colour Standards committee). I am very proud to be their President in 2001/2. I was involved in writing the BS Colour Standards booklet in 1994 and again in 2004 and 2009 and updated the Budgerigar Matings and Colour Expectations book. I was elected as the BS delegate to represent them at the first International Meeting in 1992, which became the World Budgerigar Organisation (WBO) in 1994. I was the BS delegate till 1997 when I became the WBO secretary/treasurer. I was also the BS Millennium Convention Co-ordinator and the former BS Representative on the National Exhibition Committee. Currently I co-ordinate the Judges Training Scheme. I represented the B.S. on the National Council for Aviculture (NCA) from 1992-97 and again from 2007. In 2011 I was elected Secretary of the NCA as well as COM-UK (2011-2014). In 2013 I was elected B.S. Vice-chairman.
I was involved in organised the first Specialist & Rare Variety Open Show in 1988 and have been show organiser and chairman of the show committee since 1989.On the local scene I was heavily involved in Surrey & Sussex BA from 1985-1990 where I was their past President, vice chairman, show manager and publicity officer. Currently I am chairman (retired in January 2010 due to the move) of my local club Croydon & District BS and their past president and show manager. I am also the show manager and past president of Southend & District B&FBS and also became show secretary of Ipswich B.S
Due to my dedication to the fancy many honours and awards have come my way including the Budgerigar Society Silver Bird which was awarded to me in 1995. In 1993/4 I was honoured to be President of five societies; CBC, VBC, SBBA and my two local clubs, could this be a record? These honours were not restricted to the U.K. as I was extremely honoured and privileged to learn that I was induced into the American Rare & Colour BS Hall of Fame. In the Millennium Year I was made a Life Member of the American Budgerigar Society for my contribution with articles to their Magazine. In 2009 I was made an honorary president of the Spanish B.S. I was extremely honoured to be awarded the WBO Gould Award in 2014 for meritorious services to the fancy.
The other side of the hobby that I enjoy tremendously is judging. I passed my L&SCBS test in 1986 and that of the BS in 1988. I have judged all over Britain and the World. I also enjoy writing and lecturing. Among the countries that I have judged are Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Irish Republic, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and USA.
I have also lectured at both the Australian National and the New Zealand National, the Budgerigar Society Convention, in Denmark, Hungary, Israel, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa and at the ABS All American.
I took voluntary redundancy from British Gas in November 1996 after 17 years employment in their research and technical departments and now enjoy retirement.
Yes, I am heavily involved in our hobby and dedicated to the fancy as a whole and I enjoy it very much.
Copyright © Ghalib Al-Nasser 2005 all rights reserved.