Daphne Gie 2-1-1928 - 19-7-2010
Jagai Afghan Hounds, UK and Australia
(Ed Note: This loving and informed tribute was written by Keith Searle of Salamkhan Afghan Hounds (UK, and Australia). We are honoured
to have been given permission by Keith to reproduce his tribute here and we hope to add to this excellent foundation. Thank
you Keith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
|As QAHA (Queensland Afghan Hound Association, Australia) members will know by now, our Patroness and PRO Daphne
Gie died in July. She will be sorely missed by her myriad friends all over the
world. Some of our Australian members may not be aware that she is revered in
other parts of the world just as much, if not more, as in Queensland. The
following tribute has been drawn from many sources.|
She was born Daphne Mary Smith in Lincoln,
England, on 2nd January 1928. Her early ambition
was to be a dancer, but this was not to be.
In 1946 Daphne acquired her first afghan,
Avia, from Helen Semple (Pushtikuh) via a “tall,
blonde, Polish Count” who she met at art college.
Further stock joined her kennel from Bletchingly
kennels over the years with an emphasis on a
working style of dog. She believed that the afghan
should be capable of catching its own dinner and
over the years became dismayed at the way that
many show afghans developed.
In the late 1950s Daphne started showing
afghans and soon after
married Richard Gie. Together they set up
home at Pluckley in Kent. Richard bought
her two Khorrassan bitches as engagement
and wedding presents. These became the
basis of her Jagai breeding programme.
1964 saw them move the Jagai kennel to
West Down, Hastingleigh near Ashford.
Since that time nearly 300 afghans have
been owned or bred by her and afghans
bred by her have become Champions in
England, Belgium, Greece, Scandinavia,
Hong Kong, Canada and Australia.
Soon after starting her show career
Daphne was asked to join the Committee
of the Southern Afghan Hound Club. She
served on this Committee for the next 20
years, being Secretary for most of the 1970s.
Her enthusiasm was notable, being
the first to arrive at show venues and the last to leave. Any newcomers to
showing afghans would get all the advice and encouragement they needed from
her. Daphne was the first to acknowledge that she was not the best handler
in the world, so 1963 saw her take the first steps in judging afghans,
leading to her first Championship appointment in1968. There followed a
large number of UK championship shows, culminating in Crufts in
1982, where she judged bitches. From 1969 onwards judging took her to
Sweden, USA (7 times), Europe, New Zealand, Japan, Scandinavia and,
significantly, Australia in 1984. Her last Championship appointment was to
judge 126 dogs at the Yorkshire Afghan Hound Society show which was held in
conjunction with the 2003 Afghan World Congress.
Daphne always had a great liking for “original” afghans and in 1973, with
the help of the British Ambassador to Afghanistan, she imported a very
primitive afghan from Afghanistan. People who met them never failed to be
impressed by their piercing eyes, wild attitude, and enormous energy and speed.
Daphne said that how ever high they raised the fences, the afghans just got
closer to the bottom and then sprang over them. Jill Knight-Messenger recollects
one of them, Chipak, suddenly leaping three feet up in the air at something
unseen by the humans. Upon landing the bitch spat out a small bird! Before
being imported to England, Chipak had been a successful hunter in her native
For much of her adult life Daphne taught art at the Ashford North
Secondary School. She was a very talented artist and passed her enthusiasm on
to many of her students. At least one of these stayed in touch with her for many years.
On occasions she would take
an afghan into school as a model for
her students. Her talent extended
beyond her art and in 1978 her book,
Afghan Hounds: A Complete Guide,
was published. By this time she was
an established international judge
During her Australian judging
stay, Daphne was so taken with the
country that she and Richard decided
to emigrate. They were soon
established at Kabi Place, a property
which was reputedly built on
aboriginal land from which the name
was taken. Wildlife abounded and her
visitors frequently had close
encounters with a wide variety of
birds, marsupials and snakes.
By 1991 they were both
heavily involved with the QAHA, with Richard taking on the Editorship of the
Ghan and Daphne being PRO and Patroness, a role she retained to her death.
One of the duties she fulfilled was the annual CCCQ lecture for upcoming
afghan hound judges. In this she has been ably aided and abetted by Dennis
Everybody who has visited Daphne at home will have been aware of the
numbers of teddy bears on display. At Christmas they would all be on parade
throughout the house. Although this might be thought to be one of her
eccentricities, the origin of this collection was down to Richard. After his death
visitors continued to give bears to Daphne and the collection expanded.
Each year she supported the QAHA in many ways. As the Public
Relations Officer of the Association she would spend many a day on the
telephone collecting gossip and stories that would go into her reports for this
magazine as well as preparing an annual report for the Afghan Hound Year
Book in the UK.
Her contribution to the Specialties was largely unseen by most members.
Soon after judges contracts had been finalised, she would collect photos of the
judge’s favourite dogs. There was always an element of subterfuge here, as the
real reason for the pictures was supposed to be secret, with the result that she
would get frustrated by receiving many pictures which she felt were completely
Daphne would set about producing a painting or drawing of the
judge’s dog to be used as a front cover on the show catalogue and would then
get the original framed for presentation to the judge after the show. This work
would take her a number of weeks and she never claimed the cost of materials or
framing from the club. She always sponsored awards for all the shows. This was by no means the end of her contribution.
(Photo below is Daphne with Cinzia Aymaretti Camia of Gran Pamir Afghan Hounds (Italy).
Cinzia judged one of the two Specialties that QAHA held in June 2010 and Cinzia
spent a couple of days with Daphne prior to judging),
|| When the judge arrived
at Brisbane airport, Daphne would be there to welcome them and whisk them
away to Landsborough
so that they had no
with any QAHA
members! Each year
she would worry about
what to feed them, and
how to entertain them.
For up to a week she
would wine, dine and
take her guests to places
of interest before
ensuring that they
appeared at the show in
an unstressed condition.
Without exception, our judges enthused about her hospitality.
In recent years she has
had deteriorating health which has led to multiple
joint replacements among other things. Quite typically, she has made light of all
her problems and been fiercely determined to carry on as if nothing were wrong.
However, all her close friends have been aware that this was just a front.
This year she became more aware of her frailty and, although she would
not admit it to anyone, she realised that she needed some assistance in looking
after judges. This was accentuated by the fact that there were two Specialties
with the attendant two judges and their consorts. As a result, for the first time
she agreed to the judges being met at the airport by others and one of the judges
did not stay with her. With hindsight this could be seen as the beginning of the
At the Specialties she had to leave before the end due to the extreme cold.
A few weeks later she was still entertaining, but for the first time she would
admit to being in some pain. Another fortnight later her health deteriorated
further and one of her local friends moved into her house to look after her and a
week later she died peacefully in her sleep.
At the end of July many of her friends gathered at her house to remember
her. Her house was decked with memorabilia with every chair and table covered
with photographs, teddy bears and other souvenirs of her life. Those attending
represented neighbours, friends, members of societies she supported and a
significant number of QAHA members. Dennis McGreevy gave a moving
account of her life and several others added to this with personal recollections.
Murray Anderson and some neighbours and friends put on a spread of food and
drink and many fond memories were exchanged. Daphne would have been
The world has lost a delightful, generous, hospitable, talented, slightly
eccentric and lovely lady who will be sadly missed.
(Photo below is Daphne with Di and Keith Searle)
This is probably the last photo ever taken of Daphne – complete with python! 22nd June 2010