I was so sad to hear
of the passing of Jill Jackson.
Jill was Chairman of the Russian Blue Breeders’
Association (R.B.B.A.) for many years, and I was privileged
to serve as a committee member under her chairmanship for some of
that time. Jill was a lovely lady, who, whether it was at the R.B.B.A.
show or at the AGM, went out of her way to make everyone feel welcome.
Jill bred some beautiful Russian Blues under her Blandings
prefix, her most notable cat being her beloved UK
Gr Pr Blandings Bustopher, whose career highlights included
winning Overall Best in Show at the R.B.B.A. show, and Best of Variety
Foreign Neuter at the Supreme.
After she retired from breeding and showing, Jill remained devoted
to the Russian Blue, and liked to keep up to date with what was
happening in the breeding and show world. I have happy memories
of when we would meet up for brunch at a pleasant tearoom in St
Ives, and then study the cats together at the shows held at the
Wood Green Animal Shelter, Godmanchester.
It was fitting that Jill passed away at home surrounded by her
family, with her two Russian Blues, Boris and Sofia, by her side.
My condolences to David, Nicola, and the rest of her family.
The first time I met Jill Jackson
was, years ago at one of the RBBA shows I used to visit every year
with my mother and friends.
I remember her offering tea and biscuits to co-workers, judges
and to us, visitors from Belgium.
A kind woman who was caring for everyone at the show and was also
for years the chairperson of the RBBA.
Some time later we became more acquainted and Jill invited me to
spend some time with her family at their home in Cambridge.
I accepted the invitation and that holiday in the lovely month
of May became the finest one I’ve ever had.
Jill and her husband Robin, who already sadly passed away quite
some time ago, showed me around their beautiful city. I remember
especially a Sunday afternoon when we went punting on the river
Cam and every evening around 5 pm I went to King’s to enjoy
the Singing of the King’s College Choir.
I met their children Nicola and David and their lovely Russian
Blues and one of the beagles they always had. I certainly remember
the walks we did with their Beagle in the fields behind their house.
The following years I met Jill and sometimes her children too at
the RBBA shows and other shows throughout the UK where I judged
and it was always a pleasure meetin her again.
Through the years we’ve kept contact by sending Season’s
greetings. Jill’s Christmas card was always the first to arrive.
It is so very sad to know that she has passed away. It is really
the end of an era. She did so much for the RBBA and was so passionate
about the Russian Blues.
It was an honour to have known her and I send my condolences to
Nicola and David and their family.