SHOW WOWS PUN­TERS

Post storm show draws big crowds

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Peter Car­ruthers Peter.Car­ruthers@ news­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

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.

PHO­TOS: PETER CAR­RUTHERS

CROWD PLEASER: Sideshow al­ley pulled the crowds at the 2017 show Whit­sun­day.

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