The Joe Murphy Column
Firstly I would like to THANK ALL the many fanciers who forwarded sympathy cards, flowers and phone calls to Margaret and me after the untimely passing of our son Kevin. The kindness shown has been so overwhelming that we feel very humble to know that there are so many nice people in our lives. I was the last person to speak to him as I phoned to tell him I had put 6 birds on Red Star auctions and gave him my password to have a look at them and to have a read of the details regarding each pigeon. When he phoned me back we spoke about putting some of his birds on it, but as it was teatime I said ‘I’ll phone you tomorrow and we can work on it’. As he went off the phone he complained to Julie that he had a very sore head, and she told him, to go and sit down and she would get him a couple of pills. He lay on their bed and when she went through to the room his eyes were rolling in his head, and he never woke up. She phoned 999 but they took an hour to get to him (Due to Covid etc.) He was taken to Ninewell’s hospital in Dundee and died a week later. Needless to say we will NEVER get over the loss of Kevin as he was such a large part of our lives, he was my pigeon partner as I bred the youngster and he raced them. It was a great adventure to us both and along with Margaret & Julie we loved sitting in the back garden on national race days and seeing a pigeon drop. As the birds had gone to him as young babies I never actually seen them again until after he timed in and said ‘That’s out of pair such and such from your stock loft. So we were both very happy men and it is so sad that we will never experience this thrill again. Even as I write this the thought is so dramatic and is like a knife in my heart. As much as we will miss him, his lovely young family are also devastated as much as us. Margaret and I have experienced the loss of parents during our time but losing a child is the worst experience you could ever have. At New Year Kevin kept telling me that 2021 was going to be his year, he had a great team of pigeons and set his heart on winning the ‘Big One’ from the nationals. Needless to say this will never happen now and as I do this article I’m in the process of disposing all his pigeons, loft and equipment on the Elimar website; as we cannot hold auctions due to the Covid pandemic. This is another bone that irritates me as we did not even get the pleasure of meeting up with Kevin for his last Christmas. At this point I would like to thank the staff of the RP & BHW for the wonderful way they displayed our advert in the centre pages of the magazine. I must also thank Jack Berry and Ethan the photographers who came up the day of the Snow Blizzard up here in Scotland. It took us 6 hours to go from our house to Kevin’s, (it normally takes one hour) we then worked throughout the night to photograph the birds and then drive back to Thornton and we arrived home at 5am, the lads had a sleep and I had some things to do and woke Ethan at 8am as they were wanting on their way home, thankfully it had stopped snowing and they arrived home safe and sound. I must say the amount of people who have viewed the birds on Elimar have remarked what a good job he did, so well done Jack.
Kevin & Joe Murphy
Arbroath Hit Badly Once Again
A few days after Kevin’s passing I received the following email from Charlie Cameron of Arbroath who wrote; ‘Joe another stalwart of the Arbroath club has passed away at the age of 88 years. Married to his dear wife Dot for over 70 years in fact they had a card from the Queen last year to mark that anniversary. They had 2 sons Joey and Stewart and they’ve had the heartache of outliving both of them losing Stewart only a few weeks ago. Joe was a lifelong fancier with over 60 year’s involvement with pigeons. He had a spell as president of the club, and during his tenure harmony was a priority. During meetings Dot and Joe always had tea and sausage rolls etc. laid on at their expense to keep the members in good spirits. They were always generous in their praise for others when they achieved a good performance and were proud but modest when it was his turn. Two of Joe’s highlights were topping the federation from Falaise in 2004 and again in 2008. In 2004 he had the only bird in Arbroath on the day and won 14th open SNFC. In 2008 he won 24th open SNFC winning the Ian “Smokie” Gray memorial trophy for the lowest winning velocity from all races in the federation. In fact Joe was the inaugural winner of this trophy and is pictured being presented by Smokie’s wife ‘Tiger Ann’ (as he called her). R.I.P Joe my old friend you leave us with many fond memories. Another Arbroath member Bill Hamilton also passed away a few days after Joe, I’m sorry no one sent any details and I was not in the right frame of mind to phone people to gain some obituary details.
Near Back to Normal
Now that I’m back doing my column if fanciers have any items of interest or list of trophy winners they would like published then drop me a line via email or by post. I need to try and get back to normality; it was a nice day here on Tuesday that I spent some time in the garden. The snowdrops are out just now and look lovely and you wonder how on earth do they manage to survive after being under the 2 foot of snow that covered them for about a week. One thing this shows us is that spring is now with us and once my sales are over I will only have a few birds to look after and even though some of them do not lay or fill their eggs I will just let them enjoy the remainder of their lives in my OAP home.
With all the new technology regarding fertility recently, a 65-year-old woman was able to give birth. When she was discharged from the hospital and went home, her relatives came to visit. "May we see the new baby?" one asked. "Not yet," said the mother. "I'll make coffee and we can visit for a while first." Thirty minutes had passed, and another relative asked, "May we see the new baby now?" "No, not yet," said the mother. After another few minutes had elapsed, they asked again, "May we see the baby now?" "No, not yet," replied the mother. Growing very impatient, they asked, "Well, when can we see the baby?" "WHEN HE CRIES!" she told them. "Why do we have to wait until he CRIES?" "BECAUSE I FORGOT WHERE I PUT HIM. O.K.?".
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© Compiled by Joe Murphy