SHOW WOWS PUNTERS
Post storm show draws big crowds
AFTER cyclonic winds tore through the Proserpine Showground on March 28 the running of this year’s Show Whitsunday was always going to be an uphill battle.
However the community rallied, funding was made available and true to the cliche, the show went on.
Cony von Strobl-Albeg took along five children and said she was glad the show went ahead.
“We loved it. The weather was perfect and everyone has been really friendly and we had a wonderful time,” she said.
“The entry price was really cheap and affordable.”
Show society president Donna Rogers was delighted to see so many people out and about on show day after such a shaky start.
“I am very grateful because we had a lot of help and a lot of support from other people who normally wouldn’t be involved,” she said.
“We are heartened by how much people really appreciate the show. Before this year I thought it was just us that thought we really needed to have a show”.
Though Ms Rogers said there was a shadow hanging over the running of the show in the direct wake of Cyclone Debbie, she was always confident it would go ahead in some form.
“We were going to do something. If we hadn’t got the power we would have done something else,” she said.
“The clean-up was easy, (the difficulty) was actually waiting on funding to see how far we could go.”
In the end total
restoration of power was not possible and sideshow alley ran on generator power, as did the camping ground.
Up River cane grower, Tony Large, was the inaugural recipient of the Geoff and John Valmadre Trophy for services to the show.
The former president of the Proserpine Show Society from 2000-2012 said the award was named after long-time contributors to the show and was intended to honour those volunteers behind the scenes who were not formally recognised.
“It was a surprise to me that I was the first recipient. I was flattered and I will always be proud of that,” he said.
Mr Large said he had been involved with the show since he was 16-years-old and with the help of his father, Jim, and neighbours, George and Mark Orr, he built the bar and chook pavilion.
Which even after Debbie, are still standing.
Mr Large said these days he collects wood for the woodchop and generally helps out around the showgrounds.
“There is a hell of a lot of people who deserve credit,” he said.
Online, Kerry Latter summed up the sentiment of the many well-wishers.
“Well deserved Tony, for your unselfish giving to the community. Thank you for your dedication and focus over a long period of time,” he said.
Head steward at the Arts and Crafts Pavilion, Colleen Johnstone, said her committee was faced with some challenges after the pavilion was blown away but was able to use another building to display art and produce.
Judge at the cane display, Peter Sutherland, from Sugar Services Proserpine, admitted entries were down this year but said the competition in the cane exhibits was very close.
CROWD PLEASER: Sideshow alley pulled the crowds at the 2017 show Whitsunday.