Hall of Fame

Mar 28, 2013 by Cliff

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This year’s Hall of Fame induction proved to be an exciting affair as seven of your fellow roller men were nominated for this esteemed award. The field of nominees included Willie Wright, Joe Quinn, Homer Coderre, Cornell Norwood, Guil Rand, John Johnson, and Donny James. After completion of the vote, I am pleased to announce this year’s inductees: Joe Quinn, Homer Coderre, and Guil Rand.

 The nomination for the late Joe Quinn was made in honor of his many observations, books, CDs, volumes of research data, and personal time, so freely- given to the roller hobby. He was a prolific writer, contributing to multiple avian journals and authored the Pigeon Breeder’s Notebook. Most of us who are interested in genetics learned the basics from Quinns’ books, and in more recent years, even webcasts on video. Quinn served as chairman of the American Pigeon Fanciers Council for eight years and the Avian Disease Task Force for five years, which was created during the outbreak of the virus in the Newcastle series in Europe. In 1968, Joe succeeded Dr. Willard Hollander, Professor Emeritus in Genetics at Iowa State University, as editor of the Pigeon Genetics Newsletter. He served in that capacity for eight years, editing some 16000 pages of research studies on pigeons and doves. Joe’s interest in pigeons branched into many areas of the hobby. The Passenger Pigeon became a favorite for further investigation, leading him to write a documentation on its extinction from the planet, published as a 23-part feature in Bird World magazine. To this day, Joe Quinn is considered the guiding expert and reference source for information regarding the Passenger Pigeon. Joe has also served as chairman of the American Pigeon Fanciers’ Council and the Avian Disease Research Committee. His many efforts in the world of pigeons have not gone unnoticed, and Joe has received acknowledgment in a variety of forums, including the Levi Service Award from the National Pigeon Association in recognition of his genetics research, as well as the International Federation Man of the Year Award in the year 2000. Joe is truly missed in the roller hobby, by all who’s lives he touched; and he touched so many…a combat infantry officer, Korean War veteran, researcher, scientist, teacher and all around pigeon nut; a true legend of a man.

Homer Coderre has been an avid roller enthusiast for over 50 years until Macular Degeneration took away his eyesight, leaving him with only his peripheral vision, thus forcing him to give up his lifelong hobby. At his current age of 94 years, Homer has not lost his love for the birds, still spending many afternoons answering questions and providing guidance to the streams of novice and experienced fanciers that continue to seek his council. In his long career in the roller hobby, Homer has known and befriended many icons in the sport; Bill Pensom, Stan Plona, Lester Leyhmeyer, George Whitney and Bob Evans. Since migrating from Massachusetts to California, Homer’s reputation as a flyer of quality Birmingham Rollers has led to numerous visits from current NBRC Hall of Famers; Jerry Higgins, Norm Reed, Ron Kumro, Dave Goss, Fred Windbigler, and Monty Neible. Rollers that descended from his lofts can be found in the pedigrees of  families developed by Jerry Higgins, Norm Reed, Richard Apodeca, Eddie Verdugo, Sal Estrada, and Jim Lockwood, David Sanchez, and many other s throughout the US. Years back he dominated the Orange County Roller Club competitions. Homer has loaned and given away many, many great rollers for the mere cost of a “thank you”.  Not inclined to politics or holding lofty club positions, Homer is a humble, reserved, and generous man whose actions speak louder than his words. Just to watch Homer handle his birds and talk about them was a lesson that always stayed with every student of the roller fancy who was fortunate enough to witness any such occasion.  Homer and his loving wife, Bertha, still live happily in West Covina, where, occasionally, one of his many pigeon buddies will take Homer to a lawn show where he is always greeted warmly by friends and admirers as the living legend that he represents to so many.

To those who know him best, far more important than the impressive list of accomplishments and offices held, is the tireless way Guil Rand continues to work in every aspect of promoting the roller fancy on a local, state and national level; and with every individual fancier who has come to know him. Among these, consider that Guil was a charter member of the NBRC in 1961, has been a member of the Utah State Roller Club since 1991, and a member of the International Roller Club from 1992 until it was disbanded. In his long career of service to the roller fancy, Guil has served as World Cup General Coordinator, NBRC Bulletin Editor, Regional Director, NBRC Vice-President, played key roles in the hosting of the 1998 and 2013 NBRC Conventions, and has been serving on the Board of Directors for the American Pigeon Museum and Library since 2007, where he has been instrumental in contributing his expertise in architecture in designing the new facility. He received the Roller Journal “Roller Sportsman of the Year” award in 1996 and has written dozens of articles for the NBRC and other journals. An avid competitor and judge throughout his career, Guil was awarded the NBRC Master Flyer Award in 2001, has been the Utah State Champion four times, and regularly places in NBRC and World Cup competitions. He has consistently donated dozens of rollers for auctions to support roller organizations and competitions, and every year supports the NBRC conventions through his attendance. Always patient and generous with his time for any newcomer in the sport who seeks his advice, he readily shares his knowledge and experience with all of us, humbly and friendly. To sum it up, as one of his colleagues and friends put it, “The roller fancy is a much better place because of Guil.”

The NBRC wishes to acknowledge each of these individuals for their many contributions to the roller hobby by inducting them into the NBRC Hall of Fame, to be awarded at this year’s convention banquet in Salt Lake City on June 22. Congratulations men!

Cliff Ball, Vice-President

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  1. avatar

    Great job Cliff , hats off to the NBRC selection for hall of fame awards , hope to see you at the 2013 NBRC CONVENTION.

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