AS Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Red Dog Run campaign begins today, greyhound veteran Pearl Terry opened up on her experiences in the industry, as well as her late husband Keith’s life in the Navy during World War II…
A WARRAGUL resident who devotes most of her time between two of her local organisations would be forgiven for struggling to remember a life before volunteering.
Pearl Terry, who has a strong connection to both the Warragul RSL and Warragul Greyhound Racing Club, has well and truly made her mark at both.
Between catching at the Warragul dogs, selling Anzac Day badges for her local RSL and owning her own greyhounds, Mrs Terry is constantly busy, but wouldn’t have it any other way.
She does her late husband Keith’s memory proud. He too was tied up with both organisations.
Mr Terry joined the Navy on 15 April 1945 during World War II as a Coxswain, and returned home in 1947 with a couple of tales to tell.
“He helped transport Japanese Prisoners of War, and you couldn’t turn your back on them or they would slit your throat,” Mrs Terry told.
Mr Terry was a member of various ships, including The Swan, which was a Minesweeper, and struck trouble while he was on-board.
“They would have sweeper arms to sweep mines away but the sweeper arm broke, and it bombed one of our ships, The Warrnambool,” Mrs Terry said. “There were a couple of sailors killed, and about 20 injured.”
While a life with the dogs came in later years for Mrs Terry, in the case of her husband, who passed away 13 years ago, his passion was lifelong.
Mr Terry, who was the Half-Mile Champion of Tasmania in 1947, ended up in the greyhound industry from 14 years of age, as a result of his love for running.
His wife explained that as a teenager, he competed in a running race where the top contenders were selected to be handlers at their local greyhound club.
“The trainers would hand the dogs over to the kids, who would box them, then run the track with the dogs and catch them at the end,” she said with a laugh. “It certainly wouldn’t happen these days.”
Married since 1984, the couple’s enthusiasm for the dogs has well and truly been passed on.
Daughter Ashlee Terry, a next generation trainer, first visited a track when she was no more than three days old.
Pearl Terry has both owned and trained, and said a major highlight during her time in the industry was the success they had with a dog called Bluedell.
“He (Bluedell) was the last Hurdle Greyhound of the Year,” she said.
She also has particularly fond memories one of Keith’s dogs, Briel Lass, who ran second in a Melbourne Cup, and won a Courage Cup as well as the Adelaide Cup.
Mrs Terry commended the Red Dog Run campaign, and said she hoped the money raised would help soldiers who return with post-traumatic stress disorder.
RELATED: RED DOG RUN 2016
Pearl Terry hopes to sell plenty of badges leading into Anzac Day.