Show Society president Graham Engeman said each Show is a victory for volunteers and community effort.
Show Society president Graham Engeman said each Show is a victory for volunteers and community effort. Craig Warhurst

Community puts on a real Show

GYMPIE Show Society president Graham Engeman has heaped praise on the volunteers who made this year’s big exhibition event possible.

“We don’t put on the Show. It’s a community project,” he said.

For 134 years the community has produced this show and that means individual volunteers have put it on through their hard work and enthusiasm.

“There are unemployed people, pensioners and retirees, people doing community service and some people who take leave from their jobs and businesses just to help out.

“It’s a real cross section of the best people in the community,” he said.

“They’ve got community spirit and they want to do their bit.

“We were on the hunt in the two weeks before the show.

“They rocked up, worked hard to put up the fences, put out all the stored infrastructure, including the display panels in the Pavilion, cleaning and, in some cases, keeping up supplies of sandwiches and tea for the other volunteers.

“They’re not paid. Some of them don’t even get a ticket. They just help out,” Mr Engeman said.

“The show only has two paid employees, the show administrator and a part-time finance clerk.

“The only other paid worker is Paul Hill, who does the grounds, but he works from the Gympie Racing Club. We couldn’t do it without them and when people criticise the cost of tickets, I say they could have volunteered and done something to earn their way in,” he said.

“Before the show starts, we face a commitment of $500,000 to put it on.

“We couldn’t do it any other way.

“We pre-sell a three-day pass at a cheaper price and, while people complain that we don’t sell the cheaper ticket later on, for us it’s insurance in case the show is very wet and crowds are down.

“In the first year I think the show made $800. We aim for a profit of $20,000 to $30,00. I don’t know the figure for this year, but I don’t expect a record. Times are tight and people are worried about the economy.”

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