Rhodesia and Grovedene Airedales
Mr. Harold 'Snowy' Rhodes was the grand old gentleman of Airedales. He was always quietly spoken and ready to assist newcomers. 'Snowy' never imported, but managed to combine the Airedales of the day to produce some of the best in the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. 'Snowy' was clever, knew dogs well, and could present and handle with flair. He commanded immediate respect from all who knew him. Pictured is 'Snowy' with his most famous dog KCC Ch Rebel of Rhodesia.
'Rhodesia' - Harold (Snowy) Rhodes
KCC Gazette 1961
'Snowy' was a meticulous person and was proud of his successful Masonic career where he was elevated to Grand Master on more than one occasion. He was an educated gentleman who worked as a proof reader for the Melbourne newspaper, 'The Argus'. With pedigrees in those days being hand written on forms accessed from assorted sources, and printing available to him at work, 'Snowy' demonstrated his entrepreneurial skills in 1931 by producing his on his own 'letter head'.
Rhodesia Kennels Pedigree
'Snowy' was also an excellent dog judge and had a great eye for a dog. On one occasion he went to England to judge and from a very large field of English Airedales, awarded 'Riverina Tweedsbairn' as a youngster. 'Tweedsbairn' a couple of years later went Best Exhibit in Show at Crufts, the world's largest dog show. Hence the accompanying clipping.
'Snowy' lived in Coburg in a grand old house which still stands in 'the Grove'. One story told was that he used to exercise a group of his Airedales along the path beside Merri Creek which is still popular as a dog walking track to this day. One day his Airedales saw a cat and dragged him off his feet, through the vegetable gardens that were tended by a Chinese man armed with a pitchfork. 'Snowy' arrived home not only sore and sorry for himself, but also bedraggled with torn overalls, and with his broken glasses hanging off his head.
Snowy Rhodes kennel began with the bitch MILLSON ROYAL who was mated to CH RENOWN MARQUIS (Imp UK) and produced CH MARQUIS OF RHODESIA and CH ROBINA OF RHODESIA.
Ch Marquis of RhodesiaCh Robina of Rhodesia
'Snowy's first wife was Ruby. She is pictured below with one of their bitches KCC Ch Ramu of Rhodesia. After Ruby died, Snowy married his one time rival, Mrs Maisie Howat. Later, Maisie became Patron of the Airedale terrier Club of Victoria, a position she held for many years.
Ch Ramu of RhodesiaRuby Rhodes with 'Ramu''Snowy' Rhodes + Maisie Howat
'Grovedene'- Richard (Dick) Thompson
Ch Rebel of Rhodesia
Mr Richard (Dick) Thompson bred under the 'Grovedene' prefix. His foundation bitch was GLENDON QUEEN from KCC Ch MARYVALE STORMER, a dog which he made up to Champion and of which he was very proud. A story is told in an old Airedale magazine about Mrs Thompson and STORMER. Apparently she was walking after dark with him loose when she was assaulted by a man on a bicycle. STORMER instinctively ran to the scene and attacked the man who had great difficulty in escaping!
Pedigree of Rebel's sire
Then Mr Thompson also purchased LADY OF RHODESIA with whom he bred a couple of litters in 1938, using different sires. 'Snowy' enlisted during World War 2 and came home quite ill with depression and severe dermatitis. While 'Snowy' was away, his wife Ruby looked after his dogs, together with Dick Thompson. During this time, Mr Thompson combined Snowy's dogs with his own, so retaining sufficient bloodlines so Snowy could remain involved when he arrived home from the War.
This included the famous KCC CH REBEL OF RHODESIA pictured here, above as the thumbnail to this page and also with 'Snowy' handling in the picture of him with Maisie Howatt. 'REBEL' was born in March 1945 sired by Mr Thompson's dog GROVEDENE CRACKSMAN mated to one of Snowy's untitled bitches, RHONDA OF RHODESIA. The pedigree shows the mating that produced the famous KCC CH REBEL OF RHODESIA's sire.
Dick Thompson's Children
Betty and Peg Thompson
Mr Thompson had two daughters, Betty and Peg. The stunning old photo on the left and the thumbnail that opens this section are of Peg with her sister Betty with Mr Thompson's bitches, possibly GROVEDENE CURSTY and her mother LADY OF RHODESIA respectively. The text below this newspaper clipping indicates it was taken at an Airedale Terrier Club of Victoria Show held at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds in Flemington in the early 1930's.
Peg with Ch Rangeaire Ascot Renown
Forty years later, the elder girl, Peg (then Mrs Peg Brown) purchased Ch RANGEAIRE ASCOT RENOWN' from us. 'Scot' did some winning and became the foundation sire for 'PADAWAY' Airedales.
There were several Champions produced under the 'PADAWAY' prefix including CH PADAWAY WARICK AVON who returned to UK carrying its Australian Champion title. This dog's owner Lyn traveled to Canada, then to USA taking this dog with her. Then when he died, his ashes were returned to UK. Such was Lyn's love of that dog.