DRAGON is an acronym for The Determined Renaissance of the American Singer through Growth and Organization of the Novice. We are Chapter 22 of the American Singers Club, Inc.
DRAGON came into existence in 1981; our first show was held in 1982 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, which is located at 30650 Six Mile Road in Livonia, Michigan between Merriman and Middlebelt Roads. This continues to be the site of our show.
DRAGON's mission is to keep the American Singer fancy alive and well, and our strategy for doing this is to do whatever we can to help novice fanciers get started with American Singers through stock referrals, helping them obtain show cages, sharing breeding room tips, show training methods and so on. Meetings are held in members homes so we can show our aviaries to each other. Monthly business meetings are held January through May, September and October. There are no business meetings held during the summer, though a social gathering usually takes place. December is reserved for the annual Winterfest celebration.
Meetings usually start around 2 p.m; business is conducted first and then an education or discussion period follows. We bring in veterinarians, show tapes and give live demonstrations on banding, nesting techniques, and so on. We are famous for our potlucks that happen during the education period with each member bringing something to pass as well as a small raffle prize.
The DRAGON Song Trials is the highlight of the year and happens the second weekend in November at Holy Cross Church. Birds are benched Friday evening from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. and are judged the following day.We have a large raffle and turkey dinner at 1:30 p.m. At the conclusion of the judging, more than $500 in cash prizes and crystal trophies are presented to the top twelve birds in show. We also have a hen and tutor section, and these are awarded as well. Three trophies are reserved for Dragon members only, and all the rest are available to the membership at large. We give special trophies for the highest-scoring first-year fancier and the best journeyman (a fancier who has never won points before) to encourage the novice.
Some of the innovations we have contributed to the benching world seem almost commonplace now, but here they are: never stacking teams higher than two birds, the Waring "stretcher" for transporting birds, posting class order for the benefit of the exhibitor, class cards on the bench, the magnet board and many others. When we began showing birds in the early eighties, it was not uncommon for whole show classes to be "lost" in all the confusion, and none of these measures had ever been tried on a serious basis. Some were laughed at, though most clubs use them now. It is our policy to encourage any novice to make suggestions for improvement of the way American Singers are shown since most of our ideas came from breeders new to the fancy
DRAGON's Goals are:
To promote the American Singer as a breed and exhibition type, so that the breed will live up to the original vision of the pioneers of the breed.
To support the tenets of the American Singers Club so long as its positions, policies, and members are in tune with the concepts of the original pioneers and its actions encourage the maintenance and growth of the American Singer canary fancy.
To assist and encourage the novice fancier in any way possible on the road to championship song.
To support American Singer sections, to sponsor a show of our own, and to assist generalized bird clubs with beginning AS sections, should they ask us.
To write and disseminate information from our Education Committee to magazines and publications about the American Singer canary and its culture.
To encourage breeders to improve and begin strains; to help them, if possible, to obtain stock with which to improve song.
To learn as much as we can about canary song and share it.