The beginnings of interest in purebred dogs and dog shows in Hawaii goes back as far as the 1880’s when fanciers were getting together to compare dogs and techniques. In 1906, this interest was recognized with the organization of The Hawaiian Kennel Club (its forerunner was the Honolulu Kennel Club). The initial dog show was held at the Skating Rink, Queen Street, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii on September 6, 7, 8, 1906. One hundred and five dogs were entered and newspapers of the day pronounced it a great success.
The very first American Kennel Club approved show in Hawaii was held on December 9th and 10th, 1933. The first shows were then held annually (no shows were held during the World War II years, 1942 to 1946) until 1954. Then in 1955, when HKC, responding to increased interest and entries, began having two shows (Spring and Fall) each year. In the 1990’s the number was increased to three, and then four shows per year.
Throughout the course of its history, The Hawaiian Kennel Club has been guided by three outstanding and dedicated men. Harold K. L. Castle, landed descendent of early missionaries, owner of the famous Kaneohe Kennels of German Shepherds and Great Danes, whose wide acquaintance, both in Hawaii and on the Mainland, was most helpful in obtaining AKC approval of championship shows in Hawaii. Mr. Castle was President, Vice-President, Honorary President and/or on the board of Directors until his death at the age of eighty one in 1967. His interest in all phases of the dog game led him to encourage, not only specialty clubs, but to sponsor obedience trials which were for some time a feature of HKC shows. Probably the most coveted award in Hawaiian dog shows today is the Harold Castle Memorial Trophy, a replica of which is given to the HKC’s Best In Show winners, whose names are also engraved on the base of the original.
Arthur K. Y. Zane, who succeeded Mr. Castle as president of the HKC in 1938, was Castle’s protege and confidant and an exhibitor of German Shepherd Dogs and Poodles. He served The Hawaiian Kennel Club for many years, adding to and encouraging its place as foremost sponsor of purebred dogs in Hawaii. Arthur Zane was also an influential advocate of Hawaii and the Hawaiian dog world as a popular all-breed and Best-In-Show judge on the Mainland, often carrying with him his ukulele and straw hat to add entertainment to the after show parties. He was one of the very few AKC judges approved for both all conformation and all obedience events. He remained President Emeritus of the HKC until his death in 1993.
Mr. E. R. Champion, “Champ” to the dog world of Hawaii, served the Hawaiian Kennel Club as President (or Vice-president- there were several years when his business took him from Hawaii) from 1953 until his death in 2001. In addition, active in obedience, he served as the President and director of the Obedience Training Club of Hawaii. As a fancier, he has enjoyed the company of the Cocker, Springer, Fox Terrier, Poodle, and Maltese and as an exhibitor won Best in Show with his Cocker and Pointer. His interest in the welfare of all animals led to the presidency of the Hawaiian Humane Society where he served for many years. His knowledge, pleasant manner and wide acquaintance in the dog world helped greatly in maintaining the high standards of the HKC.
Gerri Cadiz became the first woman president of the Hawaiian Kennel Club following Mr. Champion’s death in 2001. Mrs. Cadiz served as president and show chairperson until her death in 2014. Her knowledge and dedication to the purebred dog community has helped maintain the high standards of the Hawaiian Kennel Club. In addition to being and influential Cocker Spaniel fancier, Gerri published the Hawaii’s Show Dog Magazine, ILIO beginning in 1977. The magazine provided Hawaii’s dog community a platform to communicate current animal legislation, veterinary care, breed standards, and capture Hawaii’s show results for confirmation, obedience and agility. Gerri’s accomplishments and efforts with ILIO earned her the recognition of top honors from Dog Writers Association of America.
Barbara Ankersmit would take the reigns as the 5th Hawaiian Kennel Club President in 2014.
In the tradition of those who have gone before us, the Hawaiian Kennel club strives to ensure responsible canine ownership and breeding throughout Hawaii. The Hawaiian Kennel Club will continue to be influential in promoting the appreciation and welfare of purebred dogs in our community. In spite of the drawbacks of ocean, distance, and animal quarantine, Hawaii occupies its solid position in the American purebred dog world of today thanks to its many dedicated members.