Gerald Binks – Obituary

It is with great sadness that I report the death of my friend Gerald Binks, on 19th July 2019 aged 85, following a long illness. He and his wife Joyce celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary this year.

Gerald started in budgerigars in November 1945, buying his first bird at the age of 12 and started as a Novice exhibitor at Molesey Cage Bird Society. Winning a first at his first attempt – he was “bitten”! He re-joined the BS in 1956 following a lapse caused by studies and National Service.

Gerald remained keenly interested in the hobby despite having to give up his birds in 2014 due to ill health and continued to help fanciers everywhere with their problems and difficulties with his writing and through hundreds of calls and emails.

As a former President of London & Southern Counties BS, he realised that Judges needed help and guidance with all the complexities of administration as well as a fair testing system to see if they were either very good prospective judges, or otherwise. The L&SCBS judges training scheme was consequently introduced.

Gerald both Judged and Lectured all over the World for 43 years, stopping in the 2000 to make way for younger fanciers. He served on the Budgerigar Society General Council for two sessions.

Gerald resigned from his post at BP at the age of 49 (formerly British Petroleum Co Ltd) where he was Head of Administration for Exploration. This was to begin what he hoped would be a radical change to the UK hobby with the creation of Budgerigar World magazine in 1982.

Budgerigar World spoke for itself with its in-depth articles and photography; the latter he had to learn fast at the time. This included how to “remove” the bars and developing a photographic cage now used World-wide. Gerald edited the first 100 editions.

The first Budgerigar World Exhibition at Sandown Park Racecourse was in 1983 with 4500 entries. It was a huge success as were the other events to follow in Blackpool and Stoke-on-Trent. These shows also set a benchmark for all future shows in the UK.

Soon after this he began the Budgerigar World Specialist and Rare Variety Show at Luton with BW sponsoring the initial event for £3000.

In 1974, Gerald wrote Best in Show which sold over 30,000 copies. In 1997 and after 18 months work, he self-published The Challenge. This was followed in 2006 by the second edition following another 8 months updating. It is regarded by the hobby as “The Bible”.

Gerald’s innovation in the birdroom were also adopted by fanciers around the world including his box within a box design of nest box.

In 2004 feather changes and directional feather had emerged. A chance penciling on a Daniel Lutolf bird around the cere suddenly revealed a line shaped like the horns of a buffalo. Gerald immediately published what is now accepted as the “Buffalo Effect” so highly desired by breeders World-wide.

In 2010, Gerald began what was probably his last major concept in an effort to promote the hobby to the world and the website began, this then become the web site.

For Gerald, who was in partnership with his son Craig at the time, the high point from an exhibition viewpoint was in the 1980’s. He won Best Breeder in Show at the BS Club Show in 1980. Then in 1987, a certain pair 16 comprising two grey green normals just happened to breed an outstanding nest of awesome birds for their day. The top bird was a grey green cock, BA23-43-87, which won Best Breeder in Show at the BS Club Show that year with an entry of over 5000 birds. He then showed it at the Budgerigar World Open Championship at Blackpool in 1988 and won Best Budgerigar in Show with a 4500 plus entry.

In 2015, the Budgerigar Society recognised Gerald’s contribution to the hobby over a period of 70 years by awarding him the Silver Bird. This was followed in 2018 by the World Budgerigar Organisation presenting him with the Gould Award.

I have known Gerald for some 40 years and consider him to be my friend and mentor so far as my writings are concerned. I acknowledge that there have been plenty of times when he has “rocked the boat” however this has always been with the interests of the hobby as his number one priority. Without having people like Gerald in our hobby we would still be breeding using coconut husks in open flights.

Condolences to Gerald’s wife Joyce, their sons Craig and Duncan and respective families at this very sad time.

Terry A Tuxford


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Terry Tuxford About the Author:

Terry Tuxford first began breeding budgerigars in 1979 and joined the BS in 1980. He was elevated to Champion in 1985 when he went into partnership with Brian Poole. This partnership is probably one of the longest existing partnerships in the UK hobby today having lasted some 27 years so far and is still going strong. Terry and Brian are also partnered by Yvonne Tuxford who joined the BS in 1990.

Terry demonstrated his penmanship early in his budgerigar career and wrote in the second edition of Budgerigar World. Little did he realise then that in just over 8 year’s time he would become editor following a 20 month apprenticeship with founding editor, Gerald Binks. Terry went on to edit a total of 245 editions up to May 2011.

In 1993 Terry took his Budgerigar Society Judges final examination and was awarded Subsidiary Judge of the Year and has gone on to judge the Budgerigar Society World Show on three occasions as well as many top shows at home and abroad. He is also an accomplished speaker and has been a guest at societies throughout the UK as well as Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and many other European countries.

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