RIGHT AFTER THE news that LCA chairman John Martin had resigned, we learned that the LCA’s annual showpiece, the 2018 “Classic”, had been cancelled. (See News, page 2.) Those events have put a blight on our week. In the news story there’s a shortened version of a quote I’d given.

Here is the rest of what I wrote: John’s deep attachment – reverence is scarcely too strong a word – to the Lizard canary and to the Lizard fancy community, shone through even on first acquaintance. As chairman of the national breed club he has been a strong, eloquent defender of the traditional Lizard against the changing circumstances that, in his view, have placed it in jeopardy. A man with John’s historical knowledge must, I believe, be urgently aware of the near-extinction of this wonderful breed last century, and hence all the more determined to defend it in this. Cage & Aviary Birds wishes John very well.

 John’s society, the LCA, has several contentious issues on its plate all at once. Among these is the revived question of exhibiting non-colour-fed Lizards at UK shows, and this week LCA secretary David Allen discusses this thorny issue on page 16. I’d stress that David’s article had been scheduled for this week’s issue before the recent developments at the LCA. 

I don’t know what the next steps for the LCA and “Classic” will be, but I do know one thing: now is the time for the Lizard canary fancy to pull together. Whether you’re a “traditional-only” diehard, a blue Lizard breeder or an advocate of non-colour-feeding – please, at this delicate juncture, show restraint, respect fellow hobbyists whose views differ from your own, and do anything you can to stabilise the LCA.

■ LATE NEWS: Cage & Aviary Birds is shocked to learn of the death, after illness, of National Theft Register organiser and Parrot Society council member John Hayward. Sincere commiserations to John’s family and many friends. Tributes will certainly follow. 

■ MR VICTOR RICH: Reader Mr Rich has asked us to convey his thanks to all bird people for their consideration for his operation and for their concern about his health.

■ It’s not often I can see and hear the C&AB cover bird as I type this column, but just now a jay flew screeching past my window! “One for joy”, isn’t it? Have a great week.