TOUGH DECISION: Gympie Show makes big announcement
GYMPIE’S longest running community event, The Gympie Show will return to its roots, Show Society president Graham Engeman revealed today.
“The administration of the Show Society will change,” Mr Engeman said.
For at least three decades the Show Society has employed a full-time secretary, working with the Show members in various sections helping to deliver the spectacle that is Gympie’s annual Show.
The most recent secretary, Sarah Niemand, has been in the job for about two years.
“Wages and the huge burden including overtime costs has made the appointment of permanent staff unsustainable,” Mr Engeman said.
“The primary source of income for the Show is from the three-day event.
“The management board and general committee unanimously and reluctantly decided to make the positions of secretary and secretary’s assistant redundant.”
Mr Engeman said it had not been an easy decision to make.
“We are confident that Show sections and their volunteers will step up to the challenge,” he said.
Show supporter Shirley Bishop said:
“It’s how we always did it and everyone helped, and we had a lot of fun”.
Various areas of responsibility for organising and running the Show will be allocated to management and committee members. Preparation for the Show will be conducted by volunteers and members.
“There is an air of excitement about the challenge and already people have put up their hands to volunteer and offer suggestions,” Mr Engeman said.
“Our major focus for 2020 is to have a surplus to fund the maintenance of the grounds.
“Our biggest goal is to replace the Main Ring lights which are at the end of their usable life. “We have a grant for stage one to replace some lights but must find the other half to complete.
“Our fundraising goal is $150,000 in the next two years to complete the project.
“This will assist and benefit groups for future events to be held on the grounds.
“Schedules and tenders for food stalls, parking gates, security will be released on the website soon.
“Machinery Alley and space exhibitors are already pre-booked but still have sites available.
“The showgirl and rural ambassador competition will be expanding to include outside entrants from the region’s numerous businesses and clubs.
“This is a huge change to the operation of the show office.
“The Show’s survival depends on returning a surplus and the Gympie community’s support.
“All of us want the Show to survive and continue its tradition since 1877 as a pivotal event in Gympie’s annual calendar.
“Now it’s on with the Show.”