The ‘grand old man of our dog world’, as titled by the K.C.C Kennel Gazette in 1954, William Cockbill’s legacy is shared with all who walk through the gates of the William Cockbill Dog Pavillion today.
William exhibited his first dog, a Manchester Terrier, in Melbourne in 1895. He went on to become a renowned breeder and exhibitor, a dedicated council member of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, and chairman of the Kennel Control Council.
A beloved figure in the dog showing world, William won a seat on council following a strongly supported campaign in 1924, officially opening the Show the same year. He was vice-president from 1935-1936, and a familiar face as chief steward of the dog section for several years.
A new £30,000 pavilion capable of hosting 800 dogs was officially opened in his honour at the 1954 Melbourne Royal Show by Lady Brooks, wife of the Governor of Victoria.
"In naming this building the William Cockbill Dog Pavilion, I feel that the RAS Council has perpetuated the name of the man who has done so much for exhibitors and for the dogs," Lady Brooks declared.