Night to remember for Gympie's youth
“TONIGHT is a special night for all our presentees, their parents and their friends,” Master of Ceremonies Tony Hallam said of the 80th anniversary Catholic Presentation Ball held at the Pavilion on Friday night.
“It is also significant to the history of St Patrick's Parish and to the City of Gympie.
“This proud tradition began on Thursday, August 29, 1930 when 35 debutantes were presented to Archbishop Duhig, the Very Reverend Dean O'Flynn, the Parish Priest and a host of official guests.
“Each year the tradition has been maintained with a major change introduced in the late 1990s.
“The format was changed to give both the young men and women an equal opportunity to be presented to the parish community and the community at large.
“At the moment only a few centres in Queensland still present their young men and women in one format or another.”
Mr Hallam welcomed the 300 family and friends of the presentees, many of whom travelled “quite a distant” to witness 56 young people being formally presented.
Other special guests included Bishop Brian Finnigan, assistant to the Archbishop and Bishop of the North Coast Deanery; Father Pat Cassidy, Parish Priest for the St Patrick's Faith Community; Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett and his wife Michelle; Member for Gympie David Gibson the his wife Alicia; principal of St Patrick's College, Tricia Kennedy; principal of St Patrick's Primary school, Kathy Fuller; Parish Council representatives Cos and Tricia Schuh; and chaperones for the night, Dave and Meg Connors.
The presentees danced their presentation dance, the Dynasty Blues, dedicated to all the presentees of days gone by. They then danced the Rosalie Rumba to acknowledge the presentees of the modern era, after which the parents of the presentees came forward to dance the Pride of Erin with their sons and daughters.
Sarah Drescher and Michael Blowers cut the traditional cake and spoke on behalf of the presentees.