Juniors steal showgirl limelight
When it comes time for the showgirl competitions on agricultural days, it’s often the Miss Showgirl entrants than get plenty of the focus.
However in recent years, younger girls have been throwing their hat in the ring to compete for a title of their own: Miss Junior Showgirl.
In 1981, at the centenary of the Numurkah Show, one of those girls was 12-year-old Andrea Holmes (nee Burkitt).
Having been involved in the show from a young age, it became something of a family tradition to enter in show competitions and help out.
‘‘Mum and Dad were very big at the Numurkah Show, they were both on the committees for a number of years when I was growing up. I remember helping the ladies with their displays and in the kitchen,’’ she said.
‘‘I can always remember doing that from a very young age, right through until I left school.
‘‘(Entering the competitions) was a bit of a tradition in the family. My sister Cheryl had won one of the competitions a couple of years earlier.’’
It was therefore no surprise Mrs Holmes found herself as part of the Miss Junior Showgirl competition.
Dressed in a colonial style dress that her sister had made to pay homage to the centenary theme, the young girl was interviewed and quizzed as part of the competition, and was shocked when she was announced the winner and received her sash.
‘‘I never thought that I would have won it because I was just so shy,’’ she said.
‘‘I actually remember the parade around the oval, I hopped on the back of a horsedrawn cart and was paraded around the oval at the end of the day. It was the most exciting part of the day.’’
The Numurkah Show continues to hold a special place in Mrs Holmes’ heart, a feeling she said much of the town shares.
‘‘A few years ago we nearly lost it and the town regrouped and it’s now back bigger than ever,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a real community day for everyone and the whole town gets out and it’s just a great family day amongst the town.’’
Now running the Numurkah newsagency with her husband Craig, Mrs Holmes said after living in Melbourne for several years one thing was clear.
‘‘We were just destined to stay in the country.’’ ■ The RASV is looking for former Miss Showgirls to celebrate the competition’s 60th anniversary. Contact Annette Shiell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 9281 7427. ■ To share your showgirl story with Country News, phone Alana Christensen on 5820 3237 or email email@example.com
Ready to go . . . Twelve-year-old Andrea Holmes (nee Burkitt) before the centenary celebration at the Numurkah Show.
All smiles . . . Mrs Holmes (far left) with the winners of Miss Showgirl, Miss Teenager, Master Tiny Tot and Miss Tiny Tot in 1981.