The History of GCCFV

The Maine Coon

According to Beryl Chandler in her article "The Governing Council's 50 Years of Cats", written in 1981, cat shows were run in conjunction with dog shows until the first Cat Control Body was formed. At one such show, 60 cats were shown, 58 pedigreed Longhairs and 2 Siamese! The earliest cat show for which a catalogue is known to still exist was run by Australian Cat Club in 1921. 

On the 31st October 1928 a meeting of all cat fanciers, organized by The Australian Cat Club, was held at Lyon's Cafe, Melbourne. At the meeting, it was proposed that a "Governing Cat Council" be formed to officialise and represent the Cat Fancy, with a guiding policy of working together in harmonious and co-operative activity to the benefit of the Cat Fancy.

"The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy" was only the third body of this type to be formed in the world, pre-dated by those of England and America. The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, Australia & Victoria, the only control body in Victoria until 1962, was registered as a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act 1961 on 22nd November 1962.

Mr D.J.C. (Clyde) Chandler, a long-term member of the G.C.C.F., was one of the five who were integral in the formation of the Governing Council into a company in 1962 and was its President/Chairman, Judge and Judge Instructor for many years. Dedicated to cats and the cat world, Clyde attracted and admiration and respect of many. The D.J.C. Chandler Memorial Roll of Honour was instituted after his death in 1984, as a lasting memorial to his dedication to the Governing Council and his love of cats.

In 1978, Governing Council celebrated its Golden Jubilee with the celebrations culminating in the G.C. Combined Clubs Grand Championship Cat Show. This two-day show was held on the 25th and 26th November, with Longhairs, Domestic Pets and Uncertified Pedigree Cats competing on the Saturday and all Shorthairs competing on the Sunday. Over the two days, a total of 578 cats and kittens were exhibited.

In 1979, Governing Council became a foundation member of the Co-ordinating Cat Council of Australia, a recommendatory, advisory and co-ordinating council, wherein representatives from each of the member bodies throughout Australia could pool and discuss ideas.

The Governing Council's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1988 had the distinction of being endorsed as an official Bi-Centennial Activity by the Australian Bi-Centennial Authority.

In recent years, Governing Council has actively strived to ensure that local Council by-laws and State Government legislation will not disadvantage responsible owners and breeders and representatives attended many meetings with the Government when the legislation was being drafted.

Governing Council continues to be of service to all in the Cat Fancy, by providing for registration of cats, showing of cats and by being actively involved in many issues relating to animal welfare. Advice and information leaflets are available at all GCCF shows and at the office.