1984 - 2004


An organizational meeting for the purpose of forming a koi club in San Diego was held in March 1984 at California Koi Farm. The owner, Takemi Adachi, had been encouraging a formation of a koi club for a few years. There had been a koi club in existence in San Diego for about 10 years, but it dissolved in 1981. Those present at the organizational meeting were: Takemi Adachi, Galen Hansen, Jim and Joyce Anderson, Larry Konzen, Paul Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Knapp. It was decided to have a koi meeting on the second Saturday of each month, to meet at a different members home, and to keep the club informal initially, not electing officers.


Our first meeting was held April 4, 1984 at the home of Galen and Maureen Hansen in El Cajon. The agenda was:

Discussion of parasitic diseases
Judging of Kohaku
A slide presentation of koi by Takemi Adachi

Ray Keyes, Curator of Fish, held the second meeting at the Atlantis Restaurant on May 12, 1984 at Sea World. Ray Keyes explained the extensive pond set-up; Takemi did a slide presentation of Taisho Sanke and then Ray Keyes discussed proper water conditioning.

The third meeting was at the home of Jim and Joyce Anderson in Leucadia. Membership grew, as we encouraged family membership. By the time we met in September 1984 at the California Koi Farm with ZNA for a picnic, we had 24 families as members. The remainder of 1984 meetings were: October 13, the Blalocks in El Cajon (Don, Donice and Donita); November 10, Art Niehoff's in Escondido, and December 8 the Coopers in San Clemente.


As we moved into 1985, we continued monthly meetings. Without any officers, Galen Hansen was organizing and notifying members where the next meeting was to occur and what the agenda would be. The meetings were as follows:

January 19: Galen & Maureen Hansen at El Cajon
February (we skipped so members could attend the ZNA SoCal Koi Show in Gardena
March 9: Larry Konzen at Escondido
July 6: Don, Donice & Donita Blalock at El Cajon

At our October 1985 meeting at Carol Watkins in Del Mar, we voted to Organize. Nineteen months after we began, now with 115 single and/or family memberships, we

Adopted our official name as "Koi Club of San Diego"
Nominated our first official officers which were later voted on and elected.

These first officers were:

President: Galen Hansen
Secretary: Dot Williams
Treasurer: Donita Blalock

We set up a bank account, as we were now making money on a monthly koi raffle at each meeting. And we begin planning for our first koi show at Balboa Park in April 1986. The remainder of the 1985 meetings were: November at the Knapps in Fallbrook and December at Bob Welch's in Santee.


Starting in January 1986 dues of $12/year were begun. February 9, the meeting was at Art Niehoff's in Escondido. We began a Logo Contest. On April 5th, 1986 Ginger Herlihy organized a busload trip to Newberry Springs to visit Jerry Scoggins Koi Farm. On April 13th, we had a dry run of our koi show at Casa de Prado in Balboa Park.

We held our First Annual Koi Show of the Koi Club of San Diego on April 19 & 20, 1986 at Casa de Prado in Balboa Park. Judges were Vergil Hettick and T. Kimura. Co-Show Chairmen were Ray Keyes and Bob Fenner. Our first show, as was our second, was a closed show, meaning only members of the Koi Club of San Diego could enter koi. We also made it a small fish show, as there were only 4 sizes: <7", 7-10", 10-14" and 14-18". Takemi brought 2 jumbo koi just for exhibition to entice the public. We had an Expert Class and a Novice Class, with about equal numbers of koi in each. There were 34 Entrants and 265 koi. The Show Committee was the Steering Committee: Galen & Maureen Hansen, Takemi Adachi, Bob Fenner, Ray Keyes, Barbara Pountrey, Don, Donice & Donita Blalock, Ton Reside, Ginger Herlihy, Jim & Joyce Anderson, and Bob & Michelle Welsh.

Michelle Welsh designed our first show pin. Tom Graham did audio-visual at our Banquet. Grand Champion and Runner-up were both won by Galen Hansen, a Gin Rin Kohaku and Gin Rin Showa respectively. We celebrated Takemi's 30th birthday at the Banquet.

Other meetings in 1986:

May: at the Grunion Run in Carlsbad (Carol Watkin's Restaurant)
June 15: at Bob Fenner's business in Mira Mesa
July 13: at California Koi Farm, Takemi Adachi, in Fallbrook
August 10: at Galen & Maureen Hansen's in El Cajon
September: as every year, combined ZNA picnic at California Koi Farm
October 11: Knapp's
November 15: Blalock's (Bob Finnegan demonstrated fish handling and demonstrated anesthetizing koi)
December 13: Terry Hollingsworth at Vista


New Officers were elected for 1987:

President: Jack O'Callaghan
Vice President: Bob Fenner
Secretary: Monica Leamons
Treasurer: Ricardo Salveter
Historian: Ginger Herlihy

As the Steering Committee was actively meeting on Wednesday nights to prepare for our Second Annual Koi Show, 1987 regular meetings were:

February 8: Alex Mechikoff's
March 8: Bob Fenner's fish shop
April 12: at Del Mar Fairgrounds as a dry run for our koi show.

On April 25-26, 1987, our Second Annual Koi Show was held at Del Mar Fairgrounds. Show Chairman was Galen Hansen. Again the show was closed, open only to members of our koi club. There were 31 Entrants and 286 koi. There were 56 tanks with 14 Expert Classes (up to 18 inches) and 8 Novice Classes (also up to 18 inches). Also there were 4 Jumbo Classes (over 18 inches). The Jumbo did not compete with the regular sizes. Judges were Henry Nakamaru, Larry Ng, Bob Finnegan and Frank Miyagishima. Held together with the San Diego Home and Garden Show, we had 18 new memberships sign up at the show.

A warmly received addition for the public were displays designed by Galen Hansen and professionally rendered by Maureen Hansen. These included: Facts about koi; Photos of members ponds; Koi Classification; Requirements to keep koi; Pond Construction; Koi Nutrition; How koi are judged with examples and How koi are transported to shows.

Winner of the Expert Champion was an 18" Showa of Terry Hollingworth's. His 17" Kohaku won Runner-up Champion. In the Novice Class, Grand Champion was given to a <10-inch Sanke of Tom Graham's. Runner-up went to a Matsuba belonging to Lauretta Hollingworth. Best Jumbo went to a Sandan Kohaku of Scott Lauffer's. Runner-up Jumbo was an Asagi of Alan Kolb's. Saturday night dinner was at the home of Jim & Joyce Anderson, a catered Mexican dinner. At this time we were still awarding the prizes on Sunday at the Show Site.

The remainder of the 1987 meetings were:

May 10: Gust & Lois Olson
June 14: Bob & Linda Snyder
July 12: John & Monica Leamons
August 9: Tom & Cindy Graham
September 13: Annual combined ZNA-KCSD Picnic at California Koi Farm
October 10: Galen & Maureen Hansen
November 14: California Koi Farm
December 12: Kyle & Letha Bacon

It was December 1987 that Tom Graham started putting out our classy computerized Newsletter. In the beginning of our club, Galen Hansen typed them out by hand and in 1987 Donita Blalock did it all.


New Officers of 1988:

President: Donita Blalock
Vice President: Tom Graham
Secretary: John Leamons & Maureen Hansen
Treasurer: Tom Jensen
Membership: Mary Gottsch

The meetings in 1988 were:

January 9: Jack & Mikki O'Callaghan
February 28: Our First Koi Auction held at the Blalock's in El Cajon. John Leamons built our koi trough or runway, which can be quickly constructed, taken down, and re-used at each auction. Bob Finnegan was our auctioneer. We made close to $2000 to go toward our koi show.
March 13: McBride's
April 10: Alex Mechikoff's

Due to a worldwide Aeromonas infection (Hole-in-the-Side) all koi shows in the U.S. were cancelled, including ours. It was not until February 1989 that SoCal, ZNA SoCal and Nishiki combined to have the first koi show following the epidemic. No koi were mixed with other entrants koi in that show (English Style). We followed with our show in April 1989 whereupon we did mix the koi as in the normal Japanese Style Show.

Other meetings in 1988:

May 15: Art & Jessica Niehoff's
June 12: John Bost
July 10: Ray & Jeanette Keyes
August 14: Fred & Stephanie Stracham
September 11: ZNA-KCSD Picnic at California Koi Farm
October: Tom & Judy Jensen
November 6: Terry Hollingworth
December 11: Alan & Amalia Kolb

Our new logo, now used on all club correspondence and on our Tee-shirts, was put to use in September 1988 after Maureen Hansen refined the old logo, which had cartoon fish.


New Officers for 1989:

President: Scott Lauffer
Vice President: Glenn Park
Secretary: Galen Hansen
Treasurer: John Bost
Membership: Judy Jensen
AKCA/ZNA Rep: Tom Jensen 
Scott Lauffer

Meetings in 1989:

January: Kyle & Letta Bacon
February: 2nd Annual Koi Auction at the Blalock's. Gross total receipts were $5,049, netting club sales at $2,321.50.
March: Pre-Show meeting at Scott & Molly Lauffer

Our Third Annual Koi Show was held on April 29-30, 1989. President Scott Lauffer was held over to also be Show Chairman since the 1988 show was cancelled. Again it was held at Del Mar Fairgrounds, as have all the shows since. This was our first open show, that is, koi enthusiasts from other clubs were now welcome to enter koi. Our furtherest exhibitor was Dr. Wayne Warzecha from Carpenteria.

There were 24 Entrants and 209 koi. As our custom, each participant received a koi pin redesigned every year by Maureen Hansen with the Grand Champion and Runner-up depicted from the previous year's koi show. It was still a small fish show with 4 sizes: 6-8, 8-10, 10-14, and 14-18. There were 17 Classes, the usual 14 but also 3 Gin Rin Classes plus a Doitsu. Our displays of club member's ponds were updated to show the new ponds. The judges were considered the epitome of distinguished judges, the leaders of ZNA:

Yozaburo Tsuchiya, Executive Director of ZNA
Masao Kato, President of ZNA & Chief of International Section of ZNA
Nobuyoshi Ozawa, Secretary of ZNA

Winners were:

Grand Champion: 18" Taisho Sanke - Glenn Park
Runner-up: 18" Kohaku - Bob & Joan Finnegan
Best in Size: 6-8": Taisho Sanke - Galen Hansen 
8-10": Taisho Sanke - Bob Estrella 
10-14": Kohaku - Ken Shimokochi 
14-18": Kohaku - Terry Hollingworth
1988 President's Trophy: 13" Doitsu Sanke - Galen Hansen
1989 President's Trophy: 10" Hariwake - Galen Hansen
AKCA Trophy: 17" Doitsu Sanke - Scott Lauffer
ZNA Trophy: 17" Kohaku - Scott Lauffer
Most Awards: 42/48 - Galen Hansen

The Award Ceremony was for the first time held at the Saturday Night Banquet. Tom Graham gave a dynamite slide review of the entire show. The two projectors were timed with classy music. Since then Tom has been sought after by other clubs to showcase the same kind of slide extravaganza. About 135 people attended the banquet. Sunday was the General Raffle and the Koi Raffle, bringing the 3rd Annual Koi Show to a successful conclusion.

We resumed our meetings:

May: Barry & Liz Hayes in Oceanside
June: Japanese Garden at Balboa Park, an event that became a regular KCSD sojourn in a move to form a partnership with the garden For the purpose to get our club involved.
July: Don & Judy Brigg's
August: Galen & Maureen Hansen's
September: ZNA-KCSD Picnic at California Koi Farm
October: Jim & Joyce Anderson's
November 12: We held a 2nd Koi Auction of the year at AV West, Tom Graham's Business.
December: Ron Vandell's


New 1990 Officers:

President: Galen Hansen
Vice President: Tom Graham
Secretary: Donita Blalock
Treasurer: Ron Vandell
Show Chairman: John Leamons
Membership: Tom Jensen
Newsletter Editor: Tom Graham

Due to rising costs, membership dues had to be raised to $20 per month.

1990 Meetings up to the 1990 4th Annual Koi Show were:

January 14: Terrry Hollingworth
February 4: Tom & Judy Jensen
March 11: Don, Donice & Donita Blalock

A multitude of Steering Committee Meetings were undertaken leading up to our 4th Annual Koi Show, again open, to be held at Del Mar Fairgrounds, on April 7-8, 1990. Judges were:

Osamu Kojima
Joan Finnegan
Ken Shimakochi

There were 27 Entrants and 300 koi.

We added one more size, going up to 22 inches.

Grand Champion went to a 21" Kohaku of Terry Hollingworth.

After 1990

The year 1990 began with the Koi Club of San Diego hosting the AKCA Seminar at the Hanalei Hotel in Mission Valley. This was the first AKCA Seminar to be held outside Los Angeles, thanks to all the work and organization of Galen Hansen, Donita Blalock, Tom Jensen and many other ambitious members of the Koi Club of San Diego. A pond tour was organized, using 6 Greyhound sized buses to visit all of the ponds. We were the first club to host the Seminar outside of Los Angeles.

The club has now been in existence for 20 years. Many wonderful koi enthusiasts have come and gone, but the club remains strong due to a few dedicated people. Now the backbone of the club is due to a committed few regular folks, the majority who have come into the club in the 1990's. It remains a family membership, running around 150 individuals or families.

An annual koi show in the Spring continues to be the highlight of the year, after the 5th and 6th shows were put on in the fall (November 16-17, 1991 and October 3-4, 1992). In 1993 there was no show as we switched it back to the Spring (7th Annual KCSD Show was February 5-6, 1994). Maureen Hansen was the only President (1993) that was cheated out of a Koi Show. Thus, the only 2 years without a Koi Show were 1988 (due to the Aeromonas epidemic) and 1993 (when we switched back to springtime). At this writing in 2004, our 17th Annual Koi Show just concluded. Our club has long held the distinction of being one of if not the largest in the U.S. as well as the most prestigious. Tom Graham, Galen Hansen and Norm Meck have been the backbone to maintain this reputation, but it is the congenial, dedicated members of the Koi Club of San Diego that have made it happen. We are particularly known for new innovations, the most vendors and the best prizes.

The Japanese Garden partnership has worked into another important contribution of the Koi Club of San Diego by spearheading the introduction of a koi pond in the garden which the club members now dutifully maintain. This all happened after one of our members died and her family contributed $15,000 toward constructing a koi pond at a place of our choosing in her memory and for her koi.

Thank you for all of you who helped to make the Koi Club of San Diego a great and successful club and for all of those who continue to do so.

Koi Club of San Diego is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all monetary donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by tax laws. Please check with your financial advisor if you have more questions. Tax Identification Number: 33-0355312

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