Isabel Kurth Award

The Isabel S. Kurth Award was established by the Board of the Newfoundland Club of America in 1993 to honor an extraordinary woman whose service to the club, dedication to the principles on which it stands and devotion to the breed is legendary. This award recognizes that member who best captures the spirit and exemplifies the standards of excellence in service and devotion to the breed that Isabel Kurth had so tirelessly set. 

Isabel s. Kurth was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on April 9, 1902. Her father, Andrew Sutherland, was a well known merchant who owned Sutherland's Department Store. Isabel graduated from Wellesley College in 1924. For the next two years she taught Latin and algebra in a local grammar school.

She married William W. Kurth in 1926.

While Isabel liked dogs and usually had one, she did not get her first Newfoundland until her son Bill was in college. There was a black dog living in his fraternity house, who was not working out. Bill asked his mother if she would take the dog. She agreed, and Isabel received her first Newfoundland. The dog had a terrible disposition and had to be put down. But the die was cast.... and a life long adventure with the Newfoundland began. Isabel soon had another Newfoundland, and then another. She joined kennel clubs, and began stewarding. She brought to the dog world her great energy, diligence, generosity, and organizational skills.

Margaret Chern was responsible for Isabel's introduction to the Newfoundland Club of America. At that time, there was a small number of Newfs and Newf fanciers. The speciality show had a new Chairman, Mrs William W. Kurth.

Isabel traveled extensively, visiting Newfoundland kennels throughout North America and Europe. She often was accompanied by Kitty Drury and Nell Ayres. During these years she was very active in the North Shore Dog Club and the Ladies Dog Club. Isabel was devoted to stewarding and spent literally hundreds of hours at dog shows. She could always be relied upon to give a trophy, take an ad, make a donation, provide lunch (or a bed), give a ride, write a letter, rescue a dog, help in hospitality or registrations, or, always, steward.

Both the Newfoundland Club of America and the Newfoundland Club of New England held her interest. Yet, she belonged to clubs all over the world, including The Newfoundland Club of Canada, France, Columbia River, and others. At various times, she was NCA Secretary, AKC Delegate, and Speciality Show Chairman, and always, Steward, Chief Steward, or Honorary Chief Steward. In her later years, she wrote hundreds of letters of congratulation to new champions as Recognition Chairman. Isabel received two Gaines medals, one from North Shore and one from NCA, as well as many plaques and commendations from clubs all over the world.

1994 - Mary W. Price - read more

1997 - Betty McDonnell - read more

1999 - Louise Esiason - read more

2002 - Ron Pemberton - read more

2006- Beverly Eichel - read more

2007- Joanne Peterson - read more

2010 - Mary Jane Spackman - read more

2011 - Aura Dean - read more

2016 - Clyde Dunphy - read more

2019 - Dave Helming - read more

2020 - Katherine Payne - read more


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