It is no surprise that retired veteran South Australian flyer Max Taylor was known as Mr Consistency in the SA Homing Pigeon Association.

The 85-year-old has won many of the major races in the SAHPA, taken out the Association points in 2001, and has been placed in the top ten almost a dozen times.

Max has won Alice Springs, Young Bird Derbies, One loft races and a host of Association races – not bad for a flyer that got bitten by the pigeon bug as a 12 year old after catching some mongrel pigeons in a shed on a schoolmates farm.

There wouldn’t be many people in the pigeon racing fraternity that haven’t heard of Max Taylor and his success in the sport.

Max is up there with the best in both breeding and racing having had success with his Doug Green-based birds over more than 70 years in Mount Gambier, Brisbane and Adelaide.

(Picture) Max with Jim Marafiote (SA) and Graeme “Davo” Davison.

Max’s parents Stan and Rene had a barber shop in Mount Gambier, and although his Dad wasn’t thrilled with the idea of his son getting into pigeons, Max built a small loft out of wast timber in the backyard.

He left school at 15 to become a carpenter and had early success with three original birds, a red Chequer Pied hen rescued from the Mt Gambier Gun Club, a stray red chequer Cock from Kadina, a Blue Bar Pied hen from leading Mount Gambier identity Harry Bartlett and a gift Mealy cock from another flyer.

Max joined the strong Mt Gambier club and won his first two races with birds off these pigeons sending just four to each race.

He also played football with the North-West Gambier Colts and seniors, with his grandmother Olive Lock lending great support to the future champion by timing his birds in while he was playing footy with his father as timekeeper.

National Service intervened when Max was just 19 and he spent time in the Army with 15 Platoon C Company at Woodside.

After the break he returned to civvy life setting up house in Mount Gambier, resuming his passion for pigeon racing, marrying his now wife
of 61 years, Heather.

Jack Leane from Beverley in Adelaide gave Max some youngsters and suggested he seek birds from either Doug Green or Bert Minerds, and Max ultimately bought four stockbirds from Doug.

His purchases included a blue Bar hen, SAD 55 2999, a grand-daughter of Doug dual Oodnadatta and Alice Springs Association winners, and a red chequer Vernal Bloodline cock that became Max’s top pair.

The Doug Green pigeons have been the backbone of the Taylor Loft and have been maintained through strict linebreeding.

Over the years Max has also successfully interwoven other blood with these pigeons including J.J.Horn Busschaerts, and birds from prominent Adelaide breeders including Bob Marchant, and Leon Lam.

Max became one of the most successful flyers in Mt Gambier before transferring to Brisbane where he had similar success with the South Coast, and Garden Centre Invitation Clubs during a seven and a half year stay.

In one season he scored 9 firsts, took out the Aggregate points, and won Wilcannia by 20 minutes.

The Taylors shifted permanently to Adelaide in 1974 and Max began his long and successful association with the Campbeltown Homing Pigeon Club.

Max introduced four reference pigeons that produced even more powerful results.

Reference A, Aust 93 3501, was the J.J.Horn Busschaert Hen purchased from the Rangeview Adelaide sale in 1994.

She is the dam of 2 SAHPA winners, fastest state Hawker, Granddam & G/G Dam of 8 SAHPA winners. Individually she is the dam of 18 x1st prizewinners and 23 SAHPA first 30 placegetters, As a Granddam and Great-grandam she produced in excess of 50 SAHPA first 30 placegetters.

Reference B, SA 93 38233 BCPC, was Bred by Max from his old family which is a combination of C Nelsen/S Gregerson and Doug Green bloodlines. His dam being placed 10th SAHPA Alice Springs, 1st club

Reference C, RPS 94, 3115 BBC, Bred by Lindsay Smith. This fantastic Busschaert Cock was gifted to Max after Lindsay loaned it to him for the 1999 breeding season. This full brother to Lindsay’s top 5 times winning Busschaert Hen, produced 2nd & 8th SAHPA Farina for Lindsay. He was mated to REF A for just one season in 1999 and produced a number of outstanding racers and breeders.

Reference D SA 93 50348 MLYC thePape/Nelson/Gregorson/Green Cock is another combination of Max’s old families. His sire was a RCC from F Fiorillo a club mate of Max’s and was all the famous Vic Pape Bloodlines.

His dam was Max’s old family the Nelsen/Gregerson/Green blood and her sister gained 8th SAHPA Young 880 km hard fly from the East of Adelaide.

50348 bred 1st Queensland Cup 1999, 11th SAHPA Glendambo, 17th SAHPA Glendambo YBC, 23rd SAHPA Farina YBC, 1st club Parachilna and 18th SAHPA Booroorban. His champion grand-daughter is 36682 BBH, who won 4 races for Max including 3 in 2006 including Bird of the year in the Campbelltown club.

Max won Alice Springs in 1999 with SA 97 32644, a Blue Bar Hen that was a mixture of the Doug Green and Nelson Gregerson blood.

She went on to become a prepotent matriach in the Taylor Loft producing a number of top racers and breeders

The Bob Marchant loan hen, a Blue Bar Pied, that finished 4th Alice Springs, was a mixture of Wilf Schumman and Doug Green blood.

When Max bought another six birds from Doug Green he was gifted a Blue Chequer Cock that was down off the dual Oodnadatta and Alice Springs winning family, and that was subsequently mated to the Marchant Hen producing a long line of blue bar pieds that can still be found in the loft today.

Max finished first and second Association from Glendambo in 2013 with sisters from his Pied Family, with another hen fourth.

Leon Lam loaned the Blue Bar Goodger Cock SA 01 18050 to max and it proved another highly sucessful cross.

Inbred to the sister of Allan Goodger’$1900 cock it was mated to Max’s four winner hen, which was down off the Old Family including Vic Pape Blood.

Two of 18050’s sisters were highly successful for fellow SA flyer Allan Brown, one winning 14 races and the other 9, helping Allan finish in the top five SAHPA placings in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Age has finally caught up with Max, and although he’s having to regretfully sell his pigeons, he’s looking forward to spending more time with his wife Heather, in the garden, or with his finches.