The History of the Empire Kerry Blue Terrier Club
CH KERRYCROFT'S GILFAGAN
Club was started by a group of Kerry enthusiasts who met to investigate
promoting the Kerry in obedience. They decided to organize a local breed
club for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, Tri-State KBTC. The first
elections were held in April of 1956: President - Jean Seward,
Vice-President - Peg Tormey, Secretary - Carol Postley, Treasurer - Buss
Seward, Board of Governors - Bert Tormey, Bill Aletti, Mrs. James Ranning
and Kay Massucco. In May 1956, the first Tri-State KBTC meeting was held. At
the June meeting Bert Tormey grooming demonstration and on July 11 the Club
held its first Exhibition, judged by Mrs. Jean Ramstead, at which Best of
Exhibition was Bert Tormey’s Marberlane’s Grand Slam over an entry of 12.
After more Exhibitions and an AKC suggested name change, Tri-State became
the Empire Kerry Blue Terrier Club. The Empire club was incorporated on June
29, 1957 and was recognized by the AKC in October of that year. The
Certificate of Incorporation signers were: Dudley Seward, William Aletti,
Bertram Tormey, Margaret Tormey and Kathryn Massucco.
Empire was granted permission of the AKC to hold its first Specialty Show on
March 9, 1959 at the Saw Mill River Kennel Club show. The entry of 42 dogs
was judged by Thomas Keator, who chose for BOB Marberlane’s Citation owned
by Pat Corless and bred by Bert Tormey.
November of 1960 the Club was accepted as a Chapter Club of the United
States Kerry Blue Terrier Club. The membership grew and included some of the
finest breeders on the East coast: Mrs. Gladys Titcomb, Mrs. Walter
Fleisher, Patrick Corless, Jean Underhill, to name only a few. Activities
sponsored by the Club continued grooming sessions, informal judging
demonstrations, movies of other Specialty shows, stewarding instruction,
obedience training lectures, veterinarian lectures and judging instructions.
These all were a great aid to the smaller breeders and exhibitors who were
swelling the ranks of Empire. These endeavors continue today.
1965 the Specialty Show was held in September with the Westchester Kennel
Club. The 1965 entry was 60 Kerries and at the 1966 show there was an entry
of 65. In 1976 this Specialty was moved the Westbury Kennel Association. It
was moved in 2000 to be held with the Suffolk County Kennel Club. In 1985
the Club started to hold a second Specialty in the spring with the Long
Shore Southport Kennel club. In the 90's this Spring Specialty was moved to
the Greenwich Kennel Club show held the same weekend.
Over the years there were various All Breed shows supported by the Club:
Staten Island Kennel Club, Associated Terrier Club, Queensboro Kennel Club,
Wallkill Kennel Club etc. Today the Club has Supported entries at the shows
surrounding their Specialties: Long Shore Southport Kennel Club, Brookhaven
Kennel club and Westbury Kennel Association. Many of our great breeders have
passed on or retired affecting the number of AKC registered Kerries.
Hopefully there will be younger people interested in the breed to replace
those of us that are active now.