Murgon centenarians Alf “Mick” Purser, Gladys Birch and George Ansell joined with Murgon Show Society patroness Gladys Sippel to cut the 100-year celebration cake at the official opening of the Murgon Show on Saturday

March 21, 2024

Murgon’s two-day Centenary Show celebration has been hailed a great success despite several hiccups outside the control of the organisers which potentially could have been a disaster.

Firstly, the Show Society was informed about six weeks out it would have to change the date of its rodeo; which was duly shifted to the Friday night.

Fortunately, the last-minute change made no difference to its success …

“Friday night was unbelievable,” Show Society president Alan Eagleson told

“It was such a good turnout … someone said there could have been 1500 people, and we were so busy I could believe it.”

The second hiccup was the last-minute cancellation of some of Saturday’s promoted amusement rides after the operator suffered a medical emergency.

But that didn’t seem to faze the crowd, either, with children enjoying the free animal farm and jumping castle.

Saturday was “really, really good”, Alan said.

He said the sheep dog and cattle dog exhibitions were very popular, as well as the cutting competitions in the morning.

“And we had an outstanding opening and grand parade,” Alan said.

Special guests at the opening were three local centenarians – Alf “Mick” Purser, Gladys Birch and George Ansell – who cut the Centenary cake.

But there was also a touch of showbiz glamour, with a TV crew, accompanied by presenter Lisa Millar, filming segments for an episode of the ABC program “Back Roads”.

The crew has been popping up at various locations around the South Burnett over the past week. A date for the broadcast is yet to be announced.

Richie O’Neill OAM did the honours of officially opening the show (see below), regaling the crowd with some of the history of the event and the showgrounds.

The Grand Parade, which included children from local schools as well as cattle and miniature horses, was led off by riders Lachlan and Jacinta Rockemer bearing an Australian flag.

Alan said Saturday afternoon was a little quiet … until the motorbikes came on to the program.

“People love things that they can get involved with,” Alan said.

The children brought along their own bikes – and safety gear – to compete in bending races and flag races.

“The youngest participant was five,” Alan said.

Saturday was topped off by a fireworks display which again attracted more people back to the showgrounds.

Alan said he would like to send out a special “thank you” to groundsman Owen “Owie” Wessling who turned up every day beforehand to help with the mowing and whippersnipping of the grounds.

“Owie is 84½ and the show couldn’t happen with out him!” Alan said.

  • Footnote: Copies of the Murgon Show Society’s special Centenary History book can be pre-ordered online
Show Society president Alan Eagleson was guiding the success of Murgon’s Centenary Show
Ring announcer Dale Tokeley with former showgirl Claire Kapernick, special guest Lisa Millar and former showgirl Amanda Dennien … Amanda sang the National Anthem at the official opening of the show as well as compering the ceremony
Reigning South Burnett Showgirl Emma Franz with 2024 Miss Murgon Megan Irvine
Edna and Richie O’Neill OAM have been stalwarts of rural shows in Queensland – and especially the Murgon Show – for decades … Richie also served as the South Burnett Sub-Chamber representative for almost 40 years as well as several terms as QCAS State President
Murgon Show Society patroness Gladys Sippel with Amanda Dennien, who has collated the history of the Murgon Show for a book which will go on sale soon
2024 Murgon Showgirl Jayda Reimers with special guest, centenarian Gladys Birch
Glen Vonhoff, from the Barambah Ministers Association, conducted the traditional “blessing of the plough” at the opening ceremony
The plough … the ceremony, which sates back to medieval England, aims to ensure a good harvest
A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Audrey Kapernick for her years of service to the Murgon Show Society
Show Society president Alan Eagleson, right, presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Brenda Rewald
Pam Dowdle was made a Life Member of the Murgon Show Society … patroness Gladys Sippel, right, presented the certificate
Patroness Gladys Sippel also presented Life Membership to show volunteer Ann Rehbein
Murgon Rural Ambassador Zac Smith and Showgirl Jayda Reimers with Richie O’Neill OAM, centre, who officially opened the show
The special 100 Years celebration cake which was cut by three Murgon centenarians and the Show Society patroness
A film crew was capturing highlights of the Murgon Show for an episode of the ABC-TV program “Back Roads”
A special guest at the Murgon Show was Kilkivan’s own Lisa Millar, co-host of ABC News Breakfast and a regular guest presenter on “Back Roads”
Nichole Gould, from Booubyjan, with the Grand Champion Tropical Female, “TN4 Sandy”
Rhianon Braithwaite, from Kingaroy, with one of her family’s Gelbvieh female entries in the stud cattle competition
Kaitlyn Barber with Proston P-10 school team entry “Dangora Gully Skylar” which was sashed the Supreme Female of the Show
Brian Kaddatz, from Merrindale Gelbvieh at Cinnibar, with 30-month-old ‘Spartan”, the Supreme Bull of the Show
“Dangora Gully Skylar”, with “Dangora Gully Cleo” at foot, was also sashed Supreme Exhibit of the Show … Kaitlyn Barber is pictured with Proston P-10 Year 10 student Bailey Williams, judges Jason Livingstone, from Maidenwell; John Wilkes, from Pittsworth; and Chief Steward Josh Steinhardt
The Wondai Town and District Band played before and after the official opening
Kerry Baldwin, from the Murgon Local Ambulance Committee, was catching up with Peter Angel, from Tablelands Rural Fire Brigade
Margaret Kidd, Joy Lawrence, Gloria Bell and Noreen Wessling were looking after the Murgon RSL Sub-Branch Citizens Auxiliary stand in the pavilion
Kathy and John Eustace, from Wondai, were browsing the exhibits in the pavilion
Anne Kratzmann, now at Woombye, was looking after the historical displays of memorabilia from 100 years of Murgon shows
Murgon Show Society Life Member Neil Collard was looking over some of the historic photos and news clippings
Some of the historic items on display in the pavilion
Dalby Pioneer Machinery Club members Stewart Evans and Sandi Ward with Tablelands Rural Fire Brigade volunteer Col Coulson … the club had a display of working engines, and the RFB had a display of vehicles
Gloria Berry and Joy Fennell were two of the volunteers working hard in the canteen
The Goomeri Chrome Bumpers car club brought along a number of vehicles for display and the Grand Parade

* * *

* * *

Raw Video Of The Parade


One Response to "Murgon Show Celebrates 100 Years"

  1. What a brilliant, comprehensive coverage of the 100th Murgon Show. This article could be turned into a coffee table book! Well done. Congratulations to all the people who made the show such a success. My grandfather KH.McMahon had a stand at the Murgon show for decades, starting about 1928 showing off the newest radios and electrical goods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.