Gunnedah Show Society 2018 AGM: new VP, strong events on agenda

A NEW committee member, some strong events and living to “fight another year” were all on the agenda when Gunnedah Show Society held its AGM last week.

Peter Mitchell has joined the ranks of the three vice-presidents after Kath Wilkinson stood down, with the rest of the committee remaining unchanged.

President Rob Witts said the committee was “very happy” with results from its events since the last AGM, including from the rose show, country music muster and showjumping festival.

Members were now looking forward to the first Energy, Innovation and Mining Expo (eIMEx), which had “gathered speed”.

“All in all, things have been good for us this year,” he said.

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Regarding the flagship event, the annual show, Mr Witts said one big change discussed was hiring a band for after the fireworks.

“We sent out on social media for responses on what people wanted for the show, and one of the key responses was live music,” he said.

About drought

He said it was “too early to tell” whether the April show would feel any drought-related effects, as others in the region had.

“It may have an impact on agricultural stock numbers – stud sheep and cattle, those sorts of things,” Mr Witts said.

“But I think we have to continue to plan as if the show will run normally; we can’t say ‘This is too hard’.”

One event had crumbled in the dry, however: the working dog trials planned for next month, cancelled due to a lack of sheep.

“People were concerned the sheep wouldn’t be strong enough.”

Enthusiasm and fairness

He put the success of the society’s events down to “an enthusiastic committee” – “social media has also helped in reaching the young”.

One returning committee member was Arna Clift, back for a second term as vice-president.

“I just like to put back into the community, because I think the show brings a lot of people together,” she said.

Mr Witts said that, despite the common refrain that show gate charges were growing too dear, the society aimed to run events “at a bare minimum so they don’t go broke”.

“We put as fair a price on it we possibly can, so we can exist next year,” he said.

“[Our] events are all running at a slight profit after we cover things like insurances and ground fees – just enough to make sure we live to fight another year.”

Mr Witts said eIMEx, coming up in November, would allow the committee to “showcase that the showground can be used for more than just horse events”.

“By showing that it can be multi-purpose, we can attract more funding for upgrades.”