History of Our Club

Origins of the NWKGC
It all started with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and “strange looking colored fish.” The OMSI hosted an exhibit of koi, and hooked Cy Schile’s interest. This interest led to his wife Phyllis finally getting her trip to Hawaii (so Cy could look at Koi).

Back in Vancouver, Washington, Cy was told about “this guy who had Koi.” Cy Schile knocked on Tom Beck’s front door and asked to see his pond. This was over 40 years ago, 1976, the Tom, Cy, and Ethel Hauser decided to form a club. (Ethel didn’t have a pond; she kept Koi in an aquarium). They started holding monthly meetings that year.

Three years later, in 1979, the club still had only three members. Finding new people through word of mouth had failed. Occasionally someone heard that Tom had Koi and would show up at a meeting and ask questions. There were a few that were curious enough to make several meetings, but not serious enough to join. At this point, it seemed that “no name” club would just fade away….

But it didn’t happen that way. Cy and Tom got a couple of lawn chairs, a plastic wading pool, some homemade signs, and hit the mall. Vancouver Mall allowed them to set up their first public exhibit with some of Tom’s fish. As Tom Beck said, “It was successful beyond our wildest dreams… it was the kick-start of a real club.” They tripled their membership, from 3 to 9, and made the cover of Koi USA.

Not only did Cy and Tom kick-start our club, but with interest and membership spreading over an expanding area, pieces of Northwest Koi and Goldfish “spawned” new clubs. For example, one of our early members, Jerry Harants, went on to start the Cascade Koi and Goldfish Club.

With new ready-for-anything members, NW Koi and Goldfish was ready for adventure and competition. May 5, 1981, under a parachute with winds strong enough to shred the silk, we put on our first Koi Show.

Since that first show, we have filled a lot of show tanks with water and fish. But no history of our efforts, however brief, could be complete without acknowledging all of those individuals who have irrevocably changed the club and, in some cases, saved it. Space does not permit us to name the many club members who work to exhaustion in order to make the show and club excel.

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