Official Opening of the 50th Annual Alpha Agricultural Show
Thank you. I too acknowledge the Mayor and Council CEO, Queensland Shows President Mr Keith Bettridge, and all involved in making the Alpha Show a success, led by your President Mr Bauman Jr.
As Queensland’s 26th Governor, it gives me, and Kaye, enormous pleasure to join with you today in celebrating this wonderfully significant occasion, the 50th Alpha Agricultural Show. Congratulations to you all!
We are also honoured to provide vice-regal acknowledgement of the even broader magnificent contributions the people of Alpha and the Central West make to the rich fabric of our State; it is magnificent, and I am here to acknowledge that – with warm appreciation. This is an amazingly diverse State, enormous geographically, with all the regions integral to its impressive presentation.
May I say again, how deeply Kaye and I have been moved by the people of the West we have met, suffering, as they are, the material and emotional effects of this drought. May their adversity soon be relieved. I speak of Goondiwindi, Charleville, Winton, Boulia and now Emerald and Alpha – with the intervention of the Capricornia Coast post Cyclone Marcia.
You are all in our thoughts, including our greatly valued primary producers, especially the pastoralists, in this, one of our State’s most important cattle producing regions.
There is, nevertheless, a supervening “celebratory” complexion to today’s occasion: communities coming together to share and promote the very best of the region.
Kaye and I have been most interested earlier, and impressed, to visit a range of excellent exhibits showcasing just that.
I look forward shortly to presenting ribbons to our Supreme Champions, and presenting life membership badges for outstanding and worthy local contributions.
May I share this anecdote. In I think the year 1998, as Acting Governor opening the Toowoomba Show, I sashed the champion buttermilk cow, unsurprisingly a Jersey. The Chronicle ran a photo the next morning with the caption, “de Jersey sashes a Jersey”. I assume today’s champion beast will come from a rather more unforgiving lineage – but we’ll wait and see, and I’ll do my best!
I trust you’ll excuse my making one final observation.
In this significant Anzac centenary year we should now pause to remember the dedication and sacrifice of all services personnel.
Large numbers of people from the outback put their hand up to fight during the First World War. Many travelled to Brisbane prior to deployment via train. I was very pleased to see that the Alpha community so enthusiastically welcomed the Anzac Troop Train re-tracing that sombre journey when it stopped here for lunch last month.
Kaye and I warmly thank the Show Society, sponsors, supporters, volunteers, exhibitors and of course show-goers. These wonderful community celebrations can only succeed through careful planning and determined efforts.
Thank you for your kindness and hospitality – you contribute magnificently to Queensland’s wonderful and essential rural identity!
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I am most honoured now, as your Governor, to declare officially open, the 50th Annual Alpha Agricultural Show!