Cathie Irwin (1909-1997) was born in Northumberland, England and remarked that from an early age she prayed for a magic wand 'so that she could do wonderful things' - her great ambition was to be able to fly on a broomstick! On immigrating to South Africa in 1947 with husband, Sid, and daughter, Jean, she joined the Transvaal Magicians' Circle in 1954. In 1957, she was a founder member of the South African branch of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Ring No. 156 – Springbok Ring - Johannesburg, and in 1963 Cathie was elected as their President.
Dressed in a full-length black dress with diamanté trimming, Cathie’s performances were mainly for children - ably assisted by grand-daughter, Jonnette. She was best known for her productions of live animals and birds. Apart from the usual white rabbits, there were also Angora rabbits, dogs, guinea-pigs, fan-tailed pigeons and doves. As a grand finale all the animals and birds were brought back to close the show. Cathie performed until she was 81, when she gave a show for Sean, her great-grandson's second birthday party.
- ↑ Linking Ring, Dec 1961, page 154