All the exhibitors line up for the official opening of the Gympie Show.
All the exhibitors line up for the official opening of the Gympie Show. Renee Pilcher

Volunteers praised for Show role

IT SEEMED fitting that volunteers were thanked during volunteer week, at the Gympie Show Grand Parade yesterday.

Show Society president Lars Hedberg said 300 volunteers had run the show this year.

"The show girls do an absolutely super job," he said.

"This year they raised $47,000 towards the show.

"It's not an understatement to say without the show girls we would probably lose money."

Mr Hedberg surprised fourth generation show volunteer Bernie Ramsey with a special pin to commemorate his 41 years volunteering.

"He's always watching our pennies on the management committee. His family has been involved since 1899."

Mr Ramsey said his children were fifth generation volunteers and he had been on the committee for 50-odd years.

"Thank you to all the volunteers, without them we would not function," he said.

Dr Vivian Edwards, who was involved with organising the Ekka for many years, said the Gympie Show was considered by many as a mini-Royal.

"From humble beginnings in 1877 the Gympie Show has developed into one that could be mistaken for a Royal Show," he said.

During the official opening Gympie rising country music star Stephanie Ward Wrigley sang the Australian Anthem.

It was a great parade, the only hitch was a rogue steer that refused to be led around the main arena and broke loose a couple of times, at one point knocking over a few exhibitors.

He was eventually wrangled back into line.

Alain Henderson said there were 190 head entered in the dairy section this year by 38 exhibitors.

He said once there were 1700 dairy farmers in the Gympie Region now there were only 32 left; but it was still an impressive line-up on display.

This year 60 exhibitors showed 200 head of cattle, even though Beef Week 2012 was held the week before, and there were 160 head of prime cattle.

Meanwhile Cottage Craft won best display in the pavilion, Hotondo Homes won best display in Machinery Alley and the Vintage Machinery Display won best display on the grounds.