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Dun-Waters’ gift of Ayrshires to UBC

Black and white photo of a large group of people with three cows. Building with many windows and four roof turrets behind.

Ayrshires donated to the University of British Columbia, 1929

Captain Dun‑Waters was tireless in his support of Ayrshires. In addition to gifting a Fintry calf as a prize at the IPE each year and providing breeding stock to local farmers, he donated an entire Ayrshire herd to the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver to help launch its dairy-operations training. He was interested in promoting a strong Faculty of Agriculture at the new university with a healthy dairy farm – specifically Ayrshire dairy cattle – as the key to success.

Dun‑Waters met with UBC professor H.M. King and offered to help fund the purchase and transport of a herd to Vancouver. He again recruited his friend John James Hamilton Dalrymple, the 12th Earl of Stair of Lochinch Castle, Scotland, to assist in acquiring prize Ayrshire cattle from across Scotland. By the spring of 1929, a herd of 24 cows and one bull was assembled. John Young of Glasgow, with wife Mary and six children, was hired to travel with the Scottish herd and to oversee the university’s dairy herds upon arrival.

In June, 1929, the Young family and the 25 animals boarded a ship in Glasgow. After 10 sea-sick days, they arrived safely in Quebec City. The cattle were quarantined for six weeks in case of illness, and then all traveled by rail to Vancouver.

Colour photo of a wooden plaque with brass image of a horned cow and a brass text insert below.

University of British Columbia production plaque, 1954

They arrived August 10th in the middle of the Canadian Pacific Exhibition (now the PNE), where they were loaded onto exhibition floats. Preceded by a pipe band, the red and white horned cattle were paraded through Vancouver’s downtown then taken to UBC at Point Grey where they began their new lives as “the best examples of the breed ever seen in this part of the world,” according to a newspaper report.

Colour image of a framed certificate.

The University Ayrshire Herd