Vol­un­teer looks back on dog years

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

FOR more than half his life, Ge­off Field vol­un­teered at the Dogs’ Refuge Home in Shen­ton Park.

Now re­tired, the 76-year-old Wil­let­ton res­i­dent said it was hard to con­dense his 44 years at the Shen­ton Park fa­cil­ity.

“When I was first in­volved in 1959, there were only two ken­nel blocks, no of­fice and there was a tram we used as an of­fice for five years,” Mr Field said.

“At the time, I didn’t know much about the Dogs’ Refuge but we’ve had re­ally good pres­i­dents and sec­re­taries.”

Com­ing from an ac­coun­tancy back­ground, Mr Field be­came the youngest com­mit­tee mem­ber and honorary trea­surer at 21.

“I’m here oc­ca­sion­ally now but in the early days I was here once a week to bank the money,” he said.

“It’s been good to see it de­velop over the years.”

Mr Field, whose wife Lyn was also on the com­mit­tee from 1959-64, said he grew up with dogs, cows, chick­ens and pigs in ru­ral WA.

In 2000, the com­mit­tee opened a train­ing area in his name to recog­nise 40 years of ser­vice.

“The plaque was opened by the City of Ned­lands mayor,” he said. “It was a big sur­prise to me.” Mr Field said he worked hard to get the State Gov­ern­ment to ap­prove tax de­duc­tions on do­na­tions to the refuge.

“They wouldn’t ap­prove it on the grounds they can only give tax de­duc­tions for a hu­man pur­pose,” he said. “I’m very pleased to say eight years ago ap­proval was given and that has made a lot of dif­fer­ence.”

The Dogs’ Refuge Home pub­lished a com­mem­o­ra­tive book Tales from our Home in con­junc­tion with its 80th birth­day on Oc­to­ber 20.

The Refuge will also host a gala din­ner at the Perth Con­ven­tion Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre on Oc­to­ber 24.

For tick­ets, visit www.dogshome.org.au.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d444337

Ge­off Field with the plaque bear­ing his name.

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