by Ann GibneyThe Devon Rex Breed Club was chartered in CFA in October of 1979. Prior to that year, Devon Rex held a unique position in the Cat Fanciers Association. Though genetically incompatible with all other Rex, they were lumped in with them for showing and breeding purposes under the single name Rex. The first breeding Devons had come over with Marion White and her daughter Anita in 1968. Recognition by ACFA in 1972 had led to the establishment of fewer than 10 Devon catteries throughout North America. Two letters by Marion White to powers in CFA about the genetic nonsense of lumping the Rex breeds together had gone unanswered. Only the dedication and common sense of the breeders then active prevented the production of straight-coated mixed-Rex kittens or the shift of the Devon look to meet the Cornish standard.In 1978, a new breeder, Ann Gibney, was informed that those who stood in the way of the proper separation were willing to stand aside. The Board recognized Devons for separate registration in 1979, with the Breed Club founded to coordinate the recognition process.Founding members were Marion White, Anita White, Ann Gibney, Becky Curneen, Maureen Jenkins, Mr. and Mrs. P. Booth, Victoria Hay, Mr. and Mrs. Kirkham, Frank and Wendy Chappell, Bob and Shirley Lambert, and E. Bollig, and, showing support from our Cornish friends, Beth Sparks and Robert Fleet.Club activities in the early years were focused mostly on recognition. Newsletters were short, composed by Ann Gibney to tell of the results of CFA Board action. Ann, sometimes accompanied by Marion White, Beth Sparks, or Priscilla Hobbs, went to Board meetings at least once a year until 1983. Showing in all seven regions was coordinated by the club, and the requisite proposals for advancement were produced under its auspices.Since 1981, the club has always had a delegate at the CFA Annual Meeting. The attendance has always been at the delegate's expense; the club can be grateful for the contribution of these dedicated souls.The Devon Rex Breed Club has been involved in the production of two all-Rex shows, both, alas, before the breed achieved Championship status in 1983. These shows were held in Louisville, KY, and San Francisco, CA, and officially sponsored by Rex Breeders United and Bay Area Rex Breeders. They drew mostly Cornish, of course, but several Devons were at each.Since the late 80's, the club has had a proper, and wonderful, newsletter. The editors, past to present are listed below..Club activities, too, have grown since the late 80's, when the membership finally grew to over 20 (and now over 100!). In 1990, Lewis and Clark Longhair Specialty Cat Club, Inc., an allbreed club despite its name, featured the Devon Rex at its allbreed cat show in Portland, OR. Twenty-five Devons were there, with owners coming from all over the country! This watershed event proved that we had the enthusiasm to gather together despite our small numbers. Since then, the Devon Rex Breed Club has consistently sponsored rings at allbreed shows, in various parts of the country. In 1997 the name, "Devon Heaven" was officially designated for these events.Winning Devons in CFAhave been honored with certificates from the club since the 1990-1991 show season. After Allan Kienzle's tragic death, some of his friends in Chicago had a perpetual trophy made to donate to the Devon Rex Breed Club for CFA's Best Devon each year. This trophy has been inscribed with the name of each since 1991.The club that began as a small group and remained at fewer than ten members for almost ten years has grown dramatically in recent years. Activities, comradeship, and education not available to those early, geographically dispersed breeders are now offered to all.