Official Opening of the 100th Mary Valley Show
State Member for Gympie, Mr Tony Perrett MP; Federal Member for Wide Bay, Mr Llew O’Brien MP; our Mayor, Councillor Curran and Councillors; Show President and Secretary; ladies and gentlemen; boys and girls. Good afternoon. It is an absolute pleasure to be joining you today.
I at once acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we gather, and extend respectful greetings to Elder and emerging leaders.
Before I proceed any further, Kaye and I would like to extend our gratitude to the Queensland Country Women’s Association, who have just provided us with a most delicious Devonshire tea. The QCWA – of which Kaye is proudly Patron – are famous for their baking, and with very good reason – thank you! Although I can report we are yet to settle that perennial debate: cream or jam first?
I would also like to acknowledge the musicianship of the Mary Valley State School band, for their wonderful rendition of our national anthem.
Now, believe it or not, this is the first ‘official opening’ the Mary Valley Show has ever received.
It seems fitting that we should celebrate its centenary by finally making things official!
One hundred years is an extraordinary accomplishment by any measure. It is testament to the strength of this community that the Mary Valley Show continues to grow and thrive.
That same strength would have been on display at the inaugural show in 1919.
Back then, residents of the Mary Valley would have had much on their mind.
It was the aftermath of World War 1. The Spanish Flu epidemic had closed the border between Queensland and New South Wales. It was a difficult time in our nation’s history and the Mary Valley was not immune to such challenges.
No doubt the visitors to that first show came for some diversion, a chance to enjoy the company of their friends and to celebrate the skills of their community.
The world has changed a great deal since 1919.
But the reasons visitors are drawn to the Mary Valley Show stay the same.
I’d like to thank the volunteers who have worked so tirelessly to put this year’s show together. Volunteers are often the unsung heroes of events such as this one, but it’s no overstatement to say they would not happen without their contribution.
I also acknowledge the Mary Valley Show Society and the pivotal role it plays in the show’s success each year. In particular I’d like to acknowledge the work of Mr Barry Grainger, who will retire from his role as President of the Show Society next February. Mr Grainger’s connection with the show goes back fifty years and I invite you to join with me in thanking him for his tenure.
And, finally, I thank the Mary Valley community for coming out today to support and celebrate this fantastic pocket of Queensland. It is now my pleasure to declare this – the 100th Mary Valley Show – officially open. Thank you.