Com­pe­ti­tion was new show ex­pe­ri­ence

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS - By Alana Chris­tensen SHOW TIME FACES OF THE PAST

With a bit of en­cour­age­ment from her friend, 19-year-old De­bra Mor­ti­more (nee Cox) found her­self stand­ing on the back of a truck at the Yar­ra­wonga Show, com­pet­ing in Miss Show­girl.

Wear­ing a shirt she had made her­self, fin­ished off with a skirt and heels, the young woman looked out on the sea of fold-up chairs as the lo­cals en­joyed the com­pe­ti­tion.

No stranger to the show, hav­ing en­tered art com­pe­ti­tions and en­joyed ex­plor­ing the crafts and live­stock, it was nev­er­the­less a new ex­pe­ri­ence for the young woman when she was crowned Miss Show­girl at the 1981 Yar­ra­wonga Show.

Fol­low­ing on from her win, the chance to gain the ti­tle of Miss North East Show­girl re­sulted in Mrs Mor­ti­more trav­el­ling to Rutherglen along with other win­ners from re­gional shows.

‘‘The other girls were all a bit ner­vous and ex­cited, as was I,’’ she said.

Fol­low­ing an in­ter­view with the panel of judges, Mrs Mor­ti­more was ul­ti­mately awarded the ti­tle later that evening.

‘‘It was a thrill to think I would be com­pet­ing in the big smoke . . . It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence, be­ing a coun­try girl and get­ting to go to Mel­bourne.

‘‘It was so nice to meet so many in­ter­est­ing and in­de­pen­dent young women through­out the com­pe­ti­tion.’’

Although she did not win the ul­ti­mate ti­tle, Mrs Mor­ti­more said it was a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence that con­nected her with a num­ber of new friends from across the state.

Still re­sid­ing in Yar­ra­wonga, Mrs Mor­ti­more trav­els to Mel­bourne for work and has raised two daugh­ters and a son, who them­selves have con­tin­ued to be in­volved in the show.

■ The RASV is look­ing for for­mer Miss Show­girls to cel­e­brate the com­pe­ti­tion’s 60th an­niver­sary. Con­tact An­nette Shiell by email at an­ or by phone on 9281 7427.

■ To share your show­girl story with Coun­try News, phone Alana Chris­tensen on 5820 3237 or email alana.chris­tensen@shep­p­

Coun­try girl . . . De­bra Mor­ti­more still lives in Yar­ra­wonga.

New friends . . . De­bra Mor­ti­more (right) with Miss Goul­burn Val­ley, Leanne Smith, at the 1981 Royal Mel­bourne Show.

Glad she did it . . . Fol­low­ing en­cour­age­ment from a friend, De­bra Mor­ti­more (nee Cox) won the 1981 Miss Show­girl at Yar­ra­wonga Show.

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