The World Show January 2013

A large number of our British fanciers descended on Hasseltin, Belgium to attend the 61st World Show organised by the Belgian Federation on behalf of the legislative World organisation Confederation Ornithologique Mondiale (COM) which was formed in 1952. The northern hemisphere show is hosted each year in a different country in Europe and this year’s show was hosted by COM Belgium. There are 40 countries affiliated to COM stretching as far as South Korea in the east to Chile in the west. The southern hemisphere show is usually held during July/August in South America.

COM structure has two executive committees each consisting of seven members; the COM Board of Directors and the judges’ committee called the Ordre Mondial Des Juges OMJ. Each committee has its own president, vice president, secretary and members of the board. The affiliated countries are divided into two groups A & B depending on the size of their show team at the World Show and the number of OMJ judges that they have. The UK is in the group B because our entry is always less than 200 and we only have 9 OMJ judges of which I am one (the only judge for the budgerigars).

It is hard to describe the atmosphere at this event and fanciers who used to attend the National Exhibition of Cage & Aviary Birds of yesteryear’s will appreciate the friendship and comradeship when a huge gathering of fanciers takes place. Considering that on this occasion the gathering of fanciers is from so many countries speaking so many different languages.

The Gala Dinner

On the Saturday evening is the Gala Dinner and the medal presentation with over 500 fanciers and partners attending the evening. This is unique to COM as fanciers attending from each participating country are called to the stage to be presented with their national flag while their national anthem is being played. This year we had about 20 British fanciers attending and we all went up to the stage. It is always so wonderful to be part of the family of nations sitting together and enjoying each other’s company. The speaker also announced the number of medals each country has won and it was announced that we, COM-UK, had won 9 medals consisting of 4 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals, the same total number as last year. It is only natural that the host country tends to do well as Belgium had the largest team and of course the largest number of medals.

Flag Ceremony

This year’s show had 82 judges invited from 12 countries all from Europe but on this occasion there were no judges from the United Kingdom as our turn was last year when I judged the show in Spain.

Much praise and sincere thanks must go to the two conveyors of our British team, Richard Lumley (COM-UK president) & Gary Mann, who spent a considerable amount of hours in taking the entry and then transferring the team to that country and bringing them back safely. Although this year’s journey was much less in distance than last year’s journey to Almeria, southern Spain nevertheless a lot of effort goes into that work; so our sincere thanks go to them for this tiring and thankless task.

This year’s show received an entry of 23,587 from 2692 exhibitors coming from 21 countries. It is mind boggling indeed. Our COM-UK team had an increase in entry from last year with 170 birds, including the team from Gibraltar, from 34 exhibitors which was up 5 from last year with 4 new exhibitors. Each year we are hoping to build on and increase our team.

The UK budgie entry was low with only 20 entered from 3 exhibitors (Roy Aplin, Ian Ward and myself). At COM shows we cannot show as partnerships and the birds are owner bred two year young birds. The total budgie entry at this show was 301 plus 231 Budgerigar of Colour (miniatures) from 13 countries.

Throughout the opening time we manned our COM-UK stand supplying refreshments and nibbles to the thousands of fanciers who pass our stand, and also looking at the wonderful birds and the various mutations that you normally do not see at our shows. It was, as usual, a great time meeting fanciers from our country as well as other countries making new friendships with so many judges, fanciers and workers as well as renewing old friendships. I had my friend Ron Pearce with me throughout the 6 days visit and we also managed to visit Rene Heylen and see his wonderful stud of birds.

Ghalib Al-Nasser and his Gold Medal winning Lutino

This is only the third time that British budgerigars were exhibited at the World show and only my second as I judged it last year so I was so very pleased and over the moon to pick up 2 gold medals for the Light Green and Lutino as well as a silver medal for the Crest. I join before me Geoff Capes, Roger Carr and Fred Wright who won gold medals in the past. Roy Aplin won a bronze medal for the Cinnamon Green series and it must be his turn to win a gold medal next year to add to his silver and bronze medals from the past shows. Unfortunately Ian Ward did not win any medal on this occasion but hopefully better luck next time.

Other gold medal winners were Brian Hogg with a Lancashire Coppy canary and Bernard Howlett with Phaeo Green Finch. Rob Bunting exhibited a Gold Lizard canary to win a silver medal. Stan Bolton won a bronze medal with a Blue Lizard canary and Jeff White, first time exhibitor, won a bronze with a team/stam of White Irish Fancy canary.

UK Medal Winners

Our congratulations are extended to Simon Tammam, COM-UK vice president, who was presented with his Gold Judges’ badge for being a COM-OMJ judge for 15 years at the OMJ Congress.

Those who attended this event are already planning their trip to next year’s World Show in Bari, southern Italyso my appeal is for more exhibitors and more birds for next year’s event please. For more information and photos about the show visit and


Filed Under: ExhibitingFeaturedNoticeboardShows



About the Author: Ghalib Al-Nasser kept budgerigars as a young boy in his native country Iraq, but after completing his engineering studies in England he started again and joined the Budgerigar Society of G.B. in 1971. He is heavily involved in the administration (management & shows) of many local, national and specialist societies as well as being the secretary of the World Budgerigar Organisation (WBO). He has judged in not less than 30 countries in the 6 continents and has lectured in many countries all over the world. He was made President of the Budgerigar Society of G.B. in 2001.

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  1. Thank you very much for sharing beautiful article with full of statistics Ghalib and really impressed with your last visit in Pakistan.

    We are moving gradually for building budgerigar community.

    Habib Ur Rehman,Pakistan

  2. Congratulations Ghalib and thank you for the nice talk we have.



  3. Paolo says:

    Great comment .. Al Jasser ……….I can not wait to meet many British farmers next year in Bari.

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