Bruce Ross – the “Ideal” Committee Man

Bruce RossBruce Ross is a retired police officer, an up and coming film producer and a tireless and articulate advocate for the hobby.

He shows in partnership with Les Chadwick, another long term fancier.

They both live in the North East of England.

An interview by Barrie Shutt

BS – When did you start up in the hobby Bruce?

Bruce Ross:

It seems a long time ago when I used to take my children to the local park in Redcar in the early 1970’s to see the birds in the aviary.

I was very taken by the budgies flying about chattering and I was bitten by the budgie bug.

Since then, although I took time out for a couple of years in the 1990’s, I have always been involved at some level.

BS – Tell us how you became a committee man

Bruce Ross:

It was shortly after I purchased the Cage Birds magazine and found out that there was a society in Redcar.

It was 1974 and the secretary at that time was Dave Kempen who I had been in the same class with at the local primary school.

Less than a year later, Dave went to work abroad. The secretary’s role needed to be filled and my background in administration prepared me in some measure to take over.

It was a case of jumping in at the deep end, but I enjoyed it – we even ran our first open show.

At the same time, I also joined the Budgerigar Society (BS), Yorkshire Budgerigar Society (YBS) and the Northern Budgerigar Society (NBS) and I am still a member.

To this day I am Assistant Secretary, Publicity officer and Web Master of the Northern Budgerigar Area Society.

BS – Sadly Redcar eventually disbanded, which surprised me as the North East had such a large influx of breeders in those days, did it not Bruce?

Bruce Ross:

It is always sad to see the small societies close, but with some of the other members from Redcar I joined up with the Teesside BS, which was located close by, in Middlesbrough.

They welcomed my skills and experience on the committee.

Since then I have held, I think, every committee position. Just recently, I stood down as secretary but this year I hold the office of president.

BS – It is clear that you are very proud of that, Bruce

Bruce Ross:

It was a very great honour.

I was doubly honoured, because as well as being president at Teesside, I was also presented the Golden Bird Award for work with the NBS.

I am proud to be associated with a group of such a hard working group members who go the extra mile to keep the hobby alive and the region strong.

BS – I could not help but notice that you’ve moved on from your old brownie camera

Bruce Ross:

Progress!

A few years ago I bought a camcorder with which I took footage of the local shows and members’ bird rooms.

With the permission and backing of the members, I then make presentations to local societies and act as a panel member with colleagues from NBS when needed.

I enjoy this part of the hobby.

It is a great way to show off the calibre of our members’ birds, and also to get to know the members better.

BS – A few words to sum up then, Bruce

Bruce Ross:

Since starting in the early 1970’s I have made some lifelong friends and it is great to be able to meet up with them at the club show and the local shows.

Behind any contented budgie man there must be a good woman and my wife has always been there for me to suffer my ups and downs. I am so grateful to her – she even puts up with me treading seed into the house!

A Note from GSB

We welcome any society who wishes to feature hard working members – without whom the hobby cannot progress.

It is always nice to be thanked if you are devoted to your society in a public way.

We welcome all submissions from all countries where societies exist around the world. It is in such a way that you, the members, can publicly appreciate what is done for you on your behalf.

This is but one way to keep your hard working committee persons.

GSB.

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About the Author: Barrie began in the hobby in 1960 after becoming desperate to own a pet as a young boy who was totally interested in animal life. His first purchase was a pair of red eared waxbills. These did not withstand the Cumbrian weather, so his next foray into birds began by reading every bird book he could lay his hands on - before coming across the weekly publication, "Cage and Aviary Birds". This began his life's interest in our hobby which he regarded as a continual learning process year by year. Barrie is a great supporter of the internet and as well as www.budgerigarworld.com, he also finds www.budgerigars.co.uk to be a good source of information. However, he stresses that there is good information and poor information out there in magazines as well, but you have to think carefully and sift out the purely anecdotal from the downright bad material.

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  1. Great interview. Very interesting!

    Marianne Marlow, UK

  2. Ray Fox says:

    Excellent interview.

    Bruce is a gentleman of the hobby.

    Ray Fox, UK

  3. Mark Nesbitt says:

    An informative interview. The hobby would be at a loss without dedicated people like Bruce.

    Mark Nesbitt, Northern Ireland

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