I can not imagine anyone active in poultry shows around this country who did not know Ernie Durb. According to his childhood scrapbook, Ernie was six years old when he first exhibited birds at the 1939 Boston Poultry Expo. Since then, his personal involvement grew as an ABA and APA member, district director, judge, and a member of numerous committees. Ernie was a Modern Game bantam proponent and recently completed his term as President of the Modern Game Bantam Club. He was one of the few surviving founding members of the Northeastern Poultry Congress and New Hampshire Poultry Fanciers Association.
Ernie Durb tales abound - stories which chronicle his finest deeds and dubious miscues. Anyone who knew him will tell you that Ernie would unselfishly assist any club whenever an extra hand was needed whether it was selling raffle tickets, setting up or tearing down a show, or judging on very short notice. Ernie quietly shared his birds and hatching eggs with anyone who was interersted and never asked for - or expected - anything in return. However, Ernie's finest legacy was his service to 4-H and junior exhibitors. Several years ago at our Saturday evening banquet, Ernie and former ABA Secretary Fred Jeffrey were honored by local 4-H groups for their commitment and work with 4-H and junior fanciers.
At the time of his death on June 19, 2002, Ernie knew he was to be honored by the APA at the Ohio National on November 9, 2002. In addition to his APA lifetime achievement award at Columbus, the officers and directors of the APA created a perpetual fund in Ernie's memory. Initial contributions are from the sale of Ernie's poultry and equipment in accordance with the wishes of his family. However, anyone may contribute to the fund. Interest earned by the fund is restricted to APA junior and 4-H programs.
Ernie was born in Reading, Massachusetts and later served in the Air Force during the Korean conflict. He was an electrical engineer by profession and operated his own company with large projects throughout New England and Florida. Ernie also was an avid bowler. He was a past President of the Merrimack Bowling Association and, only last year, Ernie was honored with a lifetime membership in recognition of his decades of work and achievement to the bowling association. One might ask when did he find time to balance family, friends, engineering, bowling, and poultry?
"Ah, who knows???" - Ernie might have said. But, Ernie certainly did.