I began keeping racing pigeons as a kid in Brandon Manitoba and
became interested again in Winnipeg in 1981 after meeting Omer Van
Walleghem (the Godfather of Canadian Racing) who lived across the street
from my sister. Watching his birds exercise pushed all the old buttons and
after visiting him, I went away with a pair and that was the beginning of
my re-entry into the racing pigeon sport.
I built a loft 8’ x 12’ and then arranged to get a permit to keep
pigeons as there was and still is a By-Law in effect involving the City
and the Health Department where a permit to keep pigeons would be
mandatory and re-issuing of the permit would be an annual requirement . A
"conditional use permit” is issued , allowing up to 150 pigeons to be kept
on the property and an annual inspection of the lofts by the Health
Department takes place.
Since that time back in 1981 the loft has expanded to 8' x 40' (in
two sections separated by a large aviary) which includes two stock lofts
which enables the switching of mates and pairs more easily. The part
comprising the racing loft at the south end is divided into two
components which makes it possible for me to fly both hens and cocks on
the celibate system and in spite of all the advice to the contrary, the
birds fly equally well and usually at or close to the top winning short
and long races, Ace Birds etc.
I am always looking for better birds to supplement my already
successful team and enjoy the breeding and the racing both. I believe that
to truly test the flying merits of any new arrivals it is an investment in
time, three years, to know whether they should go or stay and of course, a
number of different matings is important. Also, bring in the best you can
from the best flyers.
I fly a number of different strains or families and have done well
with imported Silvere Toyes and Roger Mortvedt Van Hees from the US and
Smeulders Janssens originating years ago from Fred Goodchild in Alberta to
name just a few. Other good fancier’s birds are represented in my lofts
including Andy Skrobot from New Brunswick of
Le Tour des Maritimes