This is my first annual report as President of the Show Society and I must say it has been a privilege to work with all the dedicated volunteers and committee members. It is great to see these people take such pride in putting on this event for the benefit of the community. Especially in an environment where it’s getting harder and harder for small communities to attract people back each year with the current economic climate.
If I had to sum up in one word my experience for the year it would be “WET”. I don’t think anybody would have imagined that we would have as much rain leading up the show. Who would have thought after all the years of dry dusty weather we would have been discussing taking out “Rain Insurance” in case we got washed out but we all “soldiered on” looking to the skies and praying that the rain would hold of, just for one day.
I have to say it has been a great experience for me and it was quite a departure from my “normal line of work”. The guidance I have received from Margaret, Donna and Lillian as well as vice presidents Maree and Sue has been invaluable and I thank them very much as I think I would have been lost without them.
One thing I was able to do for the show, as I am a bit “tech savvy” was create a “Facebook Page” for the Show. As there are 750 million Facebook users worldwide I thought it would be a great way of promoting the show and at the same time complimenting the existing web page, whilst also targeting a younger demographic. Leading up to and on show day I was able to post updates, photos and videos of events. I’m hoping that next year even more users will subscribe or “like” our page and we can increase the amount of people we can get information out to.
Leading up to the show the annual Show Girl Dinner was held at the Jandowae Golf Club. It was a great night with the 2011 Miss Show Girl being Kyra McCreery. Again Sue WILSON and the Jinghi Valley CWA did an excellent job in organising and catering the event.
I have to admit as show day got closer, I began listening very closely to the ABC weather reports and although I was concerned that it would rain, was more worried that attendance would be low due with the recent floods being fresh in people’s minds. Luckily the show grounds had a chance to dry out and all the grass was lush and green and looking great. The night before my phone rung hot with people asking if the show I on and I told them “bar another flood” it would be.
When show day finally arrived it was overcast but ring events we able to get underway as scheduled. But as was the pattern, it started to rain, lightly at first but slowly increasing. I must compliment the Judges, volunteers and competitors of the ring events, as more rain loomed they continued undaunted, standing or riding, soaking wet in the increasing rain. As a result they were able to finish most of the events and until, cold and wet, were forced to stop. A valiant effort by all involved.
Even with the rain the people came. As the afternoon wore on, they still came through the gates, seemingly ignoring the wet weather or I think after the flood events, determined not to let the weather dampen their spirits. Nothing was going to stop them from “Celebrating” (also this year’s theme) and showing their pride in our community. As the puddles grew bigger and parts of the pavilion filled with water, the kids kept going on the rides, people stood in the rain watching the shearing or reptile display or all gathered under the roof to watch the fashion show or cooking demonstration by the school kids.
Of course our major drawcard was the Rodeo, all started well even though it was wet with a large crowd gathering for the always exciting display. Then the heavens opened up with an almighty downpour! But this didn’t stop them? No, the Rodeo continued like the rain wasn’t there. Did people leave? No, they either sat on the bleachers in the pouring rain or they crowded under the marquees that we very wisely moved there just in case. That true country spirit and determination wasn’t going to let a bit of rain stop them.
As a result the number of people coming through the gate was comparable to last year’s show. I was concerned due to the weather that the show would be forced to run at a loss but we were all pleasantly surprised when the books balanced and we broke mostly even. As a result we are now in a sound financial position to continue on again. I am convinced if it were not for the bad weather that we would have had a bumper show as people we ready for something to celebrate after such a difficult summer.
So in conclusion, what most impressed me over the past year was a real sense of community shown by ordinary people and that “hard-nosed” determination to overcome the odds no matter what they are. People put in 110% of their time and effort with no expectations of thanks or reward. It has truly been a pleasure to work with and be a part of such a great community and I look forward to the 2012 show. It’s something to be very proud of and cherish in our modern and fast paced, “throw away” society. Trust me; you are all very lucky to live in such a place as they a becoming few and far between these days.
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