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Long service . . . Wendon Rivers dale Sheep Dog Trial Club secretary Doug Wing is congratulated on his life membership by president Tim Hammond. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

While he has never competed with his dogs in public, Doug Wing has been the Wendon Riversdale Sheep Dog Trial Club secretary for 29 years.

At the club’s annual trials last week, Mr Wing was made a life member of the group.

Mr Wing said the way he worked his dogs on the farm to move sheep would not work in a sheep dog trial.

“I tend to send the dog out and then follow it out to make sure it did what I expected it to do,” Mr Wing said.

He was not the only one in the club who did not run dogs.

“I’m actually quite proud of the fact the community have continued to back [the club] even though they may not be dog triallist oriented in the sense of running a dog .. at all the various dog trials.”

He originally came to the district in 1977 to teach at the former Wendon School.

Later he and wife Heather had the opportunity to buy a farm.

“I was never going to be a teacher until I grew grey hair, because if I was a teacher for too long I would have grey hair far too soon.”

Shortly after that he was “tapped on the shoulder” to help with the club’s dog trial and became secretary.

The skills he had developed as a teacher were useful in the position.

“I’m a person who doesn’t mind doing the paperwork side of things.

“Farmers are used to digging post holes, shifting sheep and working with dogs, and this was one way I could help out.”

It was also a good way to contribute to the community.

“I’m not a doggy person but I don’t mind helping out .. this was one way of doing something for the community with the community.”

He was “blown away” to receive the life membership.