November 4, 2019
Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey officially opened the 9th annual Murgon Rotary Music Muster on Friday … but it was some of his support “acts” on stage who really stole the show.
Moffatdale singer Emily Kinsella blew away the crowd in the packed South Burnett PCYC hall with a stirring version of “I Am Australian”, accompanied by the audience and flag-waving prep students from Murgon State School.
Multi-Golden Guitar winner Anne Kirkpatrick also sounded amazing, singing a couple of her dad Slim Dusty’s classics, “Walk A Country Mile” and “Lights On The Hill” (which, of course, was written by her mum Joy McKean). The songs were just a taste of her jam-packed performances on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
And the Wakka Wakka dancers were also a big hit with the visitors to the region.
The star attraction at this year’s muster was Tania Kernaghan who filled the hall on Saturday night with both local and visiting fans.
Governor de Jersey praised the Murgon Rotary Club for raising “tens of thousands” of dollars for charities over the years.
“You have all helped to bring Murgon to the centre stage,” His Excellency said.
Charities to be supported this year included the McGrath Foundation, RACQ LifeFlight, Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation.
Mayor Keith Campbell said the Muster was an “absolute credit” to the organising committee as it continued to grow bigger every year.
More than 350 caravans packed into the showgrounds for this year’s event, carrying an estimated 700 visitors.
They began arriving early in the week, with campers enjoying walk-up events which started on Wednesday morning ahead of the main acts on Friday and Saturday evening.
Rotary Club president Heath Sander said the event had injected thousands of dollars into the South Burnett economy.
“Just have a look at the vans … you’ve got people walking up and down the street looking at the shops,” Heath said.
“All the business houses in town know that this is an annual event now and it’s put Murgon on the map.”
PS. Sorry Murgon, His Excellency The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC QC isn’t the first Queensland Governor to visit the town, despite a suggestion made at the official opening.
At quick internet search turned these up, and there’s probably a few more …
His Excellency Sir William MacGregor arrived by train on August 29, 1913, and breakfasted at the Royal Hotel. Apparently there was “considerable adverse comment” that the Mayor of the then-Wienholt Shire was not present nor the local MP. According to the Maryborough Chronicle, “the discourtesy seemed most marked and inexplicable”.
And in November 1924, a civic reception was held at the Royal Hotel for Governor Sir Matthew Nathan who remarked that it was his second visit to the town. He recalled that on the first occasion, in 1920, reference was made to the excellent town band, which he trusted was still going strong. Anyhow, from the “delightful music” he had heard at the CWA Social that afternoon, he knew that “Murgon could boast of decidedly fine musical talent”.
And in 1934, a visiting Sir Leslie Wilson was met on the outskirts of Murgon by a mounted police escort. He attended a civic reception at the School of Arts hosted by then Shire Chairman Cr Caswell.