Above: Paul Paintain (left) presenting the Allen Silver Award to Peter Cannan


A SILVER LINING lay in store for Peter Cannan for his hard work as general secretary and ring secretary of the Zebra Finch Society when, for the second time, he was given the Allen Silver Award. He was first awarded it in 2010.

“I have always looked upon the Allen Silver award as something special. In my 12 years as general secretary I haven’t had any special highlights, just that it is a very demanding job, but well worth the contact with the members, with whom I think I have a good rapport,” said Mr Cannan.

Last year’s winner Paul Paintain made the presentation recently at the home of fellow committee member Frank Dawson. Named after noted aviculturist and ornithologist Allen Silver, the first president of the newly-formed ZFS in 1952, the award is given to a society member who has made a significant contribution to its ongoing success.

Publicity secretary Dennis Webster said: “Peter has been a member for almost 50 years. During that period, he also played a major part in the Southwestern ZFC [now SW&SCZFC] while at the same time working for the Civil Service. He is a family man, being father to a full nest of nine children, so for several years his zebra finches had to be put on the back burner.”

Peter has been a lifelong exhibitor of zebbies, first showing the birds when at school and later, on one occasion, taking in the Scottish ZFS and SWZFC club shows with fellow enthusiast John Leonard over the same weekend!

He graduated to champion status in 1994, joining the ZFS committee the same year as assistant general secretary, the first of several roles. He plans to retire in 2022, giving him more time to support Plymouth Argyle FC.

He said: “I am a devout Plymothian and have always been very proud of where I come from. There are big changes for me in 2022, but I will carry on with the birds in general.”

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