At its meeting in August 2019, the ZFS Committee chose the Society’s Treasurer to be the recipient of the Allen Silver Award. This silver salver commemorates the first President of the Society, and is awarded annually to a member who, in the opinion of the Committee, has substantially contributed to the society’s activities over one or usually many more years.

Paul Paintain was born in London, but when he was eighteen months old his family moved to Hemel Hempsted in Hertfordshire. It was here in 1970 that his interest in Zebra Finches was aroused after he had seen them in a friend’s garden aviary. He persuaded his parents to make an old brick shed escape-proof and obtained his first pairs. A year later he joined the ZFS at the National Exhibition, then held at Alexandra Palace. By1973 father and son joined forces as “Paintain and Son” and began to show at local events. As his father worked on Sundays when many of these events were held it was often down to his mother to take Paul to these shows. The partnership achieved reasonable success on the show bench, and this continued until Paul married his first wife and moved away to live in Devon, when the birds had to go since his father did not have the time to keep them due to work commitments.

It was in 2005 that Paul, having met and married his second wife Jacky, returned to keeping Zebras. Having seen some in pet shops she agreed that they would be a nice addition to their garden. Paul then re-joined the ZFS as the P&J Paintain partnership. Having installed a suitable shed, he purchased some CFW’s from well known local fancier, Allen Bennett. Wisely deciding to establish his own stud of birds before entering the show scene, they added some Fawns as a second string. In 2009 they went to the South Western Zebra and Bengalese show and promptly joined the South Western Zebra Finch Club. The following year they showed for the first time.

Paul was elected Chairman of the South Western in 2011, a post he still holds, and joined the ZFS Committee. By 2012 he had undertaken to fill the role of Patronage Secretary for the ZFS which lasted five years before he took on the bigger job of Treasurer following Alan Coles departure from that role in 2017. Paul comments that taking over from Alan was a “very hard act to follow”!

Paul has travelled far and wide to shows at all levels, including the ZFS Club Show in Ellesmere in 2012 with Peter Cannan. The following year Peter and Paul were determined to attend as many Area shows as possible together with the Club Show and Stafford and some CBS shows, and they clocked up close to 3,000 miles in doing so! He counts himself lucky that wife Jacky will look after the birds in his absence. Since 2017, Paul and Peter Cannan have organised and run the ZFS Club Show for the Society, and although this entails a lot of time and hard work, he finds it an enjoyable experience each year, and feels that the work is appreciated.

Pauls love of birdkeeping has now been extended to his grandchildren Thomas and Abigail who both now keep and show birds. In addition to his birds, Paul is an ardent course fisherman, and it was through this activity he met wife Jacky.

(text Dennis Webster) (photo Frank Dawson)

Paul receiving the award from the Society’s President Dennis Webster