Club History

The club started in the early eighties, when Henry Haraguchi made contact with Bill Benglyfield, a marine biologist living in White Rock. Henry had an interest in Koi and ponds and read about Bill's similar interest in a magazine article. Their contact resulted in an immediate freindship, and a trip in 1981 to California to attend a Koi show. Bill had attended school in California and was aware of club activity and Koi shows in that state.

Henry and Bill returned to the Vancouver area determined to see if there were enough like minded hobbyists who might be interested in forming a club. In those days there were many people who had ponds and a few who had Koi. There was no contact between individuals, no commercial involvement and most fish were of mediocre quality. A few individuals, Cyril Chave and Charles Abt, are two names that come readily to mind, were already expert hobbyists and had many years experience at raising Koi. Through trial and error and pretty much on their own, they had successfully brought in fish from Japan and were mastering the keeping of fish in backyard ponds. Another early pioneer John McPherson of Richmond was even breeding Koi after many years experience in tropical fish.

Slowly, through word of mouth, Bill and Henry found a small group of individuals who were happy to get together once a month to discuss their common love of Koi. Thus it was in late 1981 that the Canada koi Club was started and meetings were held once a month during the entire year in members' houses. The name was an early suggestion of John McPherson and it was readily adopted.

The Club was successful from the onset and held its first show in 1982 at the Lansdowne Shopping Centre in Richmond. In the early eighties the Lansdowne site was a Japanese garden with a bridge. This lent itself perfectly to the show. The house of the site was Japanese and the planking of the bridge was such that at the end of the show emptying the tanks was a breeze. The plugs were pulled and the water ran through the decking to the pond below.

The Club continues to this day operating on the same basis as when started. Namely, meeting regularly to share knowledge, problems and pleasures associated with keeping Koi. But there are some differences and they have all been positive. The club is larger, the knowledge is greater and the fish are better, much better and with many more commercial dealers in the area and new clubs springing up throughout the Pacific Northwest, the future looks very bright indeed.