Robert (Bertie) Morrow

18th February 2019

    I start this week with the sad news of the death of one of the founding members of the East Down Combine , Bertie Morrow .
    Bertie was born in 1929 and at the age of 16 went to work in the shop which his mother ran in Comber ,a shop which he took over the running of in 1962 and which he ran  for some years with his brother . The family home was a mixed  farm by the shores of Strangford Lough at Ballydorn where Bertie specialised  for many years in Pigs and through this farming connection was involved in the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society where he was a vice President and he  had also been chairman of the Killinchy Young Farmers Club .
    Bertie’s introduction to pigeons came at an early age through George Boyd who took Bertie to meet one of the top  fancier of the day  JMK McGugan and from whom he obtained 6 birds which were to be the start of Bertie’s great love of Pigeons and Pigeon racing and with his natural organising skills it was not long before he was involved in the administration side of the sport and back in 1966 along with Ronnie Johnston and others formed and got up and running the East Down Combine which he chaired for a time  and this was followed by the formation of the East Down Combine 2 bird club of which Bertie was the chairman for 40 years , He regularly attended  Combine and INFC events until failing  health prevented him . Bertie will be sadly missed and the esteem in which he was held   was borne out  by the very large attendance at the Funeral . 
On behalf all those who had the privilege of knowing Bertie Morrow I extend to his wife Bessie , sons David & Tom and the wider family circle sincere  condolences  at this sad time .


    East Down 2 Bird Club gets Ready  for 2019 

    The EDC 2 Bird  club AGM was held in Crossgar  on Monday February 11th  2019 The chairman  Joe McGreevy  opened the meeting by requesting a minute’s silence for those  members who had died during the previous year . The meeting continued with Apologies being received and accepted and the minutes of the previous Year’s AGM were  then read and passed .The chairman thanked the Secretary Dorothy Smyth  for her  work  during the racing season both in her role as  Secretary and also Treasurer  and  he also thanked  the assistant Secretary Sam Duke . Dorothy Smyth was also thanked  for all her hard work in connection with the Dinner /Prize distribution which  it was felt had been  thoroughly enjoyed by all those present  and has now become an event not to miss , Dorothy was also thanked for  running the Gold Ring events so successfully  . The prize winners were congratulated and it was hoped that 2019 would be another successful season  and that the membership which in 2018 stood at  75  would continue to grow .  The club Secretaries were also thanked for their co-operation each week .The Treasurer presented  the accounts which showed the club was again  in a very  healthy financial state  and this was again  mainly due to excellent housekeeping  and especially  helped by the  events  run at the dinner 
    The next item was the election of office bearers for 2019 and It was   the unanimous decision of those present that the existing office bearers be returned en bloc which for 2019 are 

 President         Clifford Browne 
Chairman         Joe McGreevy  
V/Chairman         Colin Smyth  
Secretary /Treasurer     Mrs Dorothy Smyth  
Asst Secretary         Sam Duke 
EDC Delegates         D Smyth  & A Lockhart
IHU Delegates         C Smyth & A Lockhart 

    The very popular leagues will again be in operation  for 2019  and Sponsorship has again been forth coming for the  2bird club and   sincere thanks  is extended to the following for their continued and very generous Sponsorship of the club . Sawyers Estate Agents , H Beattie & son , Robt. Kirkwood and Telford Bros.
    All clubs within the Combine will receive  membership forms for the 2019 season which  secretary Dorothy Smyth  will  need returned by the date on the form to compile the various  League tables etc . Membership fees remain at £10 for the full season or £5 for Young Birds only .    Again for the 2019 season the club  members will have the opportunity to take part in both an Old Bird Gold ring and a  Young Bird gold ring event  where Members will nominate 5 rings of their own at a cost of £10 for each event  but nominations will only  need to be placed with the 2 bird secretary on or before the dates on the form which for Old Birds is by the 2nd OB race of the season and for young birds on or before the date on the form in early August   These  events will be held in conjunction with ,for ,Old Birds , the 6th Old Bird  club  race of the season and for Young birds the 6th young bird club race . 
    In addition to the above competitions the club is continuing the  £1 optional pool this season ,this means that members will still be able to enter  each of their 2 birds  each week in this pool at 1£ each and there  will  be 4 prizes each week with 1st 40% , 2nd 30% , 3rd 20%  & 4th 10%  . Each race will stand on it’s own with no monies being carried over .
    There should be something there for everybody and it is hoped that the club will have another  record membership this season .

    East Down Combine 2019 Breeder/Buyer

    Will be running again in 2019 and the date for the sale is April 5th  and the venue once again is the Temple Golf and Country Club and I’ll have more on this nearer the time but that is the date to have a young bird ready for and the prizes over the last few years have been really good .


Clifford Browne 

H. Beattie & Son
Marshall Animal & Bird Foods
Bluesky Pigeon