Curtain call for 'Mr Show' as Alain Henderson calls it a day
THE man they call Mr Show, hasn't missed a Show for more than half a century.
But he will be missing from the commentary microphone in the Show ring after Saturday, having decided that all good things must come to an end.
"I've been here since 1964," Alain Henderson said on Thursday.
And he has been the man behind the Show ring commentary you have heard at every Show since.
To put that into perspective, it means "Hendo" has been the "Voice of the Gympie Show" for nearly half the 126 shows ever held at its present venue.
Show Society president Joe Mooney says it is a record no-one is likely to beat.
The Show, which started out commemorating the gold rush, was first held at what is now the Old Gympie Railway Station from 1877, but shifted in 1884 to its present site, after signing a deal with the turf club.
The First World War stopped it in 1916, the Depression stopped it in 1930 and there was no Show from 1940 to 1945 because of the Second World War.
"You get too bloody old," Mr Henderson said as he took a few seconds away from his commentary.
"I was in radio and I was a livestock agent," said the man, whose contribution to the livestock industry is remembered way beyond Gympie.
More than seven years ago he was included in the Honour Rolls of Unsung Heroes at the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame at Longreach.
The Rainbow Beach retiree has also done the commentary at campdrafts, race days, pony club events and working dog trials, as well as major showjumping events held in Gympie.
And he has become an icon in the livestock trade.
Part of his Show success has been his talent for recalling contestants and their families. "I took over from Attie Sullivan and he said: 'I hope you do a good job and make it hard for the fellow that follows you'."
Mr Henderson has made sure of that.