Following the success of the 170th annual Berwick Show in February, it was time for the organisers to enjoy and celebrate an amazing achievement.
At the Berwick and District Agricultural and Horticultural Society Inc’s recent AGM, Melissa Hogg-Marshall gave her President’s Report, acknowledging the efforts of the whole Society. She concluded by saying, “it is without a doubt a credit to you all for your dedication, time, selflessness and passion that makes the show what it is today. We have proved what a great event it is and now we need to harness the excitement and move on to 2020.”
Ms Hogg-Marshall recognised there were many contributing factors to the success of the 170th show including fantastic weather, increased attendance, a new look website and social media, ticketing system and sponsors like the City of Casey – but none more important than the many volunteers, both society and non-society members, that contribute vital countless hours and expertise.
Certificates of Appreciation were given to service groups that assisted, Amanda Baker, Cathie Waters and Des Honicke along with retiring section chairpersons, Gayle Joyce, Bert Rae, Cheryl Henderson and Annetta Wilson.
The pinnacle of being a Berwick and District Agricultural and Horticultural Society member is to be awarded Life Membership and this was bestowed to the incoming President Tom Gibson. Noelene King, OAM, Bert Rae OAM, and Warwick Glendenning presented Mr Gibson with his Life Membership badge and spoke about his long association with the society.
Although Mr Gibson officially joined the committee in 2003, Alex Scott and Co have been supporting the show for over hundred years. Mr Gibson has been involved in various aspects of the show including introducing the fun run on the Sunday morning of the show weekend.
He has previously been President in 2013-2014 and has once again taken on the role for the upcoming year.
Bert Rae remembered Mr Gibson attending the Show Ball as a very young man.
“Tom always made an entrance arriving in his tails and his sandshoes,” Mr Rae remarked.After being badged, Mr Gibson said that it is a great honour to be given Life Membership.
“I do have fond memories of attending the ball,” he added.
Another milestone acknowledged during the evening was the recognition of the Anderson family who had been involved within the dairy cattle section of the show for over 120 years. Patrick, Lindsay and Jacinta were in attendance for what they believed to be recognition to Patrick.
Patrick will represent Berwick, Central and South Gippsland Affiliated Societies as Junior Ambassador at the upcoming finals at the Victorian Agricultural Show Convention at Camperdown at the end of June.
The family have been stalwarts in the dairy section with Lindsay proudly accepting the award on behalf of the Anderson family, as his brother Ian and mother Winsome were unable to attend.
He remarked that there are many stories of the early days of how they transported their cows on the train to Dandenong and then walked to show.
In congratulating the Anderson family, Mr Gibson commented on the longevity of the family’s involvement.
“Our grandfathers probably knew each other well and with the Gibson 6th generation on the way, hopefully this connection will continue, especially with you having a grandson now interested in beef cattle,” he said on the night.
As incoming president Tom thanked everyone for electing him for a second term and looked forward to continuous improvement of the show.
With the date set for February 22 and 23, 2020, he noted that he knew that everyone involved devotes many hours to the success of the biggest event in the City of Casey.
The evening concluded with a photo presentation, capturing all the highlights of the 170th show and showcasing a fantastic team of volunteers.