October 4, 2021
The pandemic has given the Wondai Show Society a particularly tough trot over the past two years.
The first wave of COVID forced the Show Society to abandon plans to hold the 2020 Wondai Show and the town’s popular Christmas Eve Carnival.
And this year the Brisbane lockdown – and the possibility of future lockdowns – forced the cancellation of the 2021 show.
Long-serving Show Society president Dennis Morris said the decision to cancel this year’s show was particularly hard to make.
But organisers felt the shortage of showies, compulsory COVID restrictions on events and – most importantly – the Wondai community’s high average age and low vaccination rates left little choice.
“We’ve copped a bit of criticism from some quarters about the decision to cancel the show two years in a row,” Dennis said.
“But we care about our community and all the people who come to our show, so we felt it was the right thing to do in the circumstances.”
Last year’s cancellation also meant the Show Society did not call nominations for its annual Miss Showgirl and Rural Ambassador roles.
But this year – to ensure Wondai has a place in the regional roll-up – the Society put out a call for nominations and was delighted to receive several.
Judging and presentations of the 2021 winners took place at Wondai’s Showgrounds on Sunday night.
Dennis thanked the Show Society’s sponsors and members for their hard work during the past two years and their ongoing support for the 104-year-old institution.
He also thanked the nominees who had come forward for the 2021 competition.
“Development of our youth is so important to the continuation of show societies,” he said.
“Our own Show Society has blossomed over the past 10 years because of an infusion of young people in our ranks.
“They’ve brought in a fresh perspective and new ideas, and it’s benefited everyone.”
He then announced the judges had selected Carla Hedges from Kingaroy as Miss Mini Showgirl and Irene Pearce from Wondai as runner-up, with Riley Hood-Carey selected as 2021’s Junior Rural Ambassador.
Unfortunately, two further nominations for Miss Junior Showgirl and Miss Showgirl could not be processed because both nominees were unable to attend the judging.
Footnote: At present, the Show Society plans to bring Wondai’s Christmas Eve Carnival back to life this year. However, this is subject to the pandemic situation stabilising.