• 1953 – 1959
  • 1960 – 1969
  • 1970 – 1979
  • 1980 – 1989
  • 1990 – 1999
  • 2000 – 2009
  • 2010 – 2019
  • 2020-2029

1990 – 1999

Memories of the Show 1997 to 2017 John Paine

Our show is affiliated with the Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies, through its Central and North West sub-chamber branch. The QCAS encompasses 129 events state-wide annually. Until recently our Show was held over the traditional Queens Birthday weekend in June but that has been shifted. This year we show on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th of June with Friday being a holiday in the Winton Shire.

The late Mrs Beth Axford was the President of the Winton Show when Katrina and I initially became involved in 1997. We were particularly interested in the working horse challenge (forerunner to the Outback Legends Challenge) which had been instigated by Darryn Mitchell. Mrs Rosie Archer was the Patron at the time and remains so to this day. Later, I served as Chief Ring Steward for several years and became the President for the first time for the 2002 show and remained so until 2005. Gordon Pitt had served as President from 1999 to 2001, John Mawhinney from 2006 to 2008 and Geoff Cox from 2009 until 2011. We operated without a president in 2012, and then I resumed the position in 2013. Secretaries who have served in that same period are the late Mr Lou Amiet, Mrs Samantha Paterson, Ms Cherie Mullin, Mr Darryl Robinson and Mrs Jayna Carrington. Meanwhile, I can only recall two treasurers for the same period, namely Mr Alan Paterson and Mrs Lorraine Murphy. Embracing the extra commitment and responsibility of an executive role deserves special mention. All these people, in their own particular way, have had a significant influence on the sustainability of our show. The community owes them a debt of gratitude for the contributions they have made to ensure the show goes on.

The variable climate has and always will have a major bearing on our fate. During our involvement, weve seen conditions being both too wet and too dry for the benefit of the show. Ever since the decision to move the show to June and consequently be a part of the northern circuit, the weather has been cooler. The brisk south-easterly, which is a given of Wintons winter, is a regular feature of our event, ensuring patrons the opportunity to utilise their finest winter fashions. And there is usually a steady supply of blowing dust. These aspects add to the unique experience that is the most outback of shows.

During our time of involvement, the organisation has faced many challenges. Following the increase in acts of terrorism, insurance costs ballooned in the early 2000s. Ambulance costs, too, have become a major component of our budget. Weve been impacted by stringent liquor licensing laws at times, and by other local events running on our show date. Currently, demands have been made upon us with regard to the management of biosecurity. Perhaps the greatest threat, however, has been the decline in the population due largely to the contraction of the wool industry. Despite all these obstacles, here we are today organising the 2021 Winton Show, thanks to a generous, positive community, determined to make the most of their part of the world.

The show has always been structured in a particular way fundamentally based on the industry and culture that exists within the region. Concurrently, inspirational individuals have contributed significantly. In 2005, Craig and Judy Sanders initiated the inaugural led steer and heifer competitions. This event created huge interest across the region at the time, and remains one of our keystone attractions to this day, drawing young handlers, their families and their livestock from far afield to our show.

Douglas and Fiona Nicholson managed the show bar for the last time in 2003. They had been doing so for seven years with supreme efficiency and good humour. As with most clubs, and the like, the bar generates significant income over the show weekend. The Nicholsons have been missed but others have taken on the role of providing the good cheer for the occasion.

While not on the program every year, we have hosted bull sales, a cattle feature show, a bullarama, quick shears, a ute muster, wild cow milking, dog jumps, horse versus motorbike barrel race and a whether trial. One year the show and the North Gregory races ran on the same day, thanks to some extraordinary planning and communications. The famous annual Winton Camel races are conducted under the Winton Shows public liability policy as well. They occur in July, in the middle of the tourist season, and are enjoyed by many visitors and locals alike.

The Show Ball, conducted by a sub-committee, has been held lately a couple of weeks prior to the show to take a little pressure off its organizers. Usually every second year, the ball incorporates a debutante opportunity for young ladies. In so doing, the debutantes are educated for several weeks prior in etiquette and learn ballroom dances. Former resident and committee member, Ms Julie Strandquist, was a show ball stalwart for many years, and her energetic approach was of tremendous value in this regard.

In 2014, we celebrated 60 years of shows in Winton. Life Member Mrs Rosie Archer recalled being at the first and most of the subsequent events. John and Elinor East and Chick (Alan) Patterson  all life members  were on hand, regaling the younger generations with tales from the past. That show was opened by long-time trade stall exhibitor Diane Decorte (Mt Wayo Lavender Farm) and a cake was shared by the crowd.

In 2015 and 2016, our committee was the beneficiary of considerable external funding from a number of charitable groups. Due to the ongoing drought, various groups had raised funds elsewhere in an effort to ensure that events like ours survived until seasonal conditions improved. The Winton Drought Committee, Rotary Longreach, Suncare and the Cathedral School in Townsville very generously extended significant financial assistance to us which was greatly appreciated. In those years too, we played host to the Central and North West sub-branch general meetings and the regional finals of the Miss Showgirl judging. These occasions brought delegates of the region together to discuss the future of the movement. Each time, the successful showgirl went on to represent us at the Brisbane Exhibition.

The Winton Shire Council is to be commended for their ongoing support of the show. They’ve always been ready to make available staff, machinery and other resources that enable us to get the program through. Typically, a current councillor chairs the bi-monthly Showground Users meeting, where the various committees that utilise this facility, including ours, plan its maintenance and development.

The establishment of the WORC camp has been of enormous assistance to the Winton Show. Every year, the group makes itself available before, during and after the event. While ever helping hands are hard to find, their contribution will be greatly appreciated. I believe the show in turn plays an important role in helping to develop in WORC camp residents a greater sense of community.

Every year, our committee strives to bring quality professional entertainment to town as part of the program. Perhaps the most captivating to date has been the Rooftop Express in 2015  an extravaganza involving people, horses, cattle and dogs. Given our relative location, such entertainment comes at considerable expense and relies on the generous patronage of our community. The tradition continues in 2017, and the Showmans Guild will again provide the sideshow alley of rides and games, so loved by generations of our patrons. We thank them sincerely for finding room in their schedule to include us. For the last two years, weve sent delegates to their annual Think Tank at Yatala in south-east Queensland.

In August 2016, a group of local beef producers paddocked 111 steers at Daintree, and so began the Winton Show Society TopX Steer Trial 2016. Several weighings later, and with the benefit of excellent seasonal conditions, those cattle were sold to Teys Brothers and proceeded to Miamba Feedlot, Condamine. Teys Brothers have selflessly agreed to share the steers feeding performance and carcass data with us. Prizes are to be awarded, based on performance on grass, on grain and ultimately carcase quality. This venture has been enthusiastically embraced by all involved as we eagerly await the final outcomes. The considerable enquiry has been sought by neighbouring Show societies keen to conduct similar competitions.

Our regular meetings are of course where all our decisions are made and they take place every third Thursday of each calendar month at the Winton Club at 5.30 p.m. Said gatherings are generally a cathartic experience for all involved and I strongly encourage your participation. This arrangement has been pretty much carved in stone for as long as I can recall. The Annual General Meeting can prove more difficult to pin down but is scheduled for Octoberish .

For a number of years now, our committee has conducted a debrief session soon after the show. We’ve found this to be a powerful strategy, whereby all stewards get a chance to express their views about the immediate past program, in order to enhance future events.

We are currently developing our website, and expect it to be operating online in time for the 2017 Show. This development will further sophisticate the management of the show and provide opportunities for promotional material. Keep an eye out for it, and be sure to include in your itinerary the Winton Show, 2017.

These are my recollections of the last 20 years.

Written: March 2017

Show Memorials

Ian was a humble, generous man with a massive appetite for work. He had a vision, amazing stamina and was a true quiet achiever. Ian was not afraid to share his ideas and great knowledge of the land to inspire others around him.

Bob came to Winton from the Mitchell area in 1957. He drew a block on the Diamantina River and subsequently named it Tibourie. At nineteen years old his dream of becoming a cattle producer was soon realized, the land and stock becoming his major focus and passion. This property was the beginning of a long and successful life in the pastoral industry.

Beths love of horses began as a young girl with her train driving father dropping her off in paddocks full of horses outside of Rockhampton to walk through them to her Grandmothers place. In her teenage years Beth worked as a governess at Blue Range Station, outside of Charters Towers. The Cores were a big horse family who encouraged her to camp draft with the family.

James came into this world on the 5th March 1996 (a beautiful bundle of joy), in the Roma Hospital and grew up at Wirilla Winton.He was always just a happy boy and his love for animals started from a very young age. His first pony was Crystal (a Shetland) and then he went up in size to Pete (Welsh) and anything else that he could possibly get on. The photo below of him on the black horse was when they were both about 4 and James got him over to the fence and just climbed aboard. He first cantered unaided at 18 months on Crystal and it snowballed from here.

Clint Tucker Laffin was extremely passionate about his birds and poultry; breeding and showing them. Clint was very competitive as he travelled around the Central West Show Circuit. He always came away pretty pleased with his winnings and didn’t mind letting everyone especially other bird enthusiasts know how he went.

John OConnell came to Camara with his wife Jean and their five young children in December 1959. He was passionate about sheep and wool and at that time Camara ran mostly sheep and only had a handful of cattle.

Margaret (Mag) Wooderson was born in Longreach in 1907 and moved to Winton with her family a few years later where she lived until her death in 2000.

She is best known for her dress shop Woodersons Frock Salon which was situated in the North Gregory Hotel building. It was the first business to be established in 1955 in the newly completed hotel. Her dress shop provided many a Show Ball or Show day outfit and she continued to run it until 1980, when she retired after selling the business to Tracy and Barbara Hardy.

Her house in Vindex Street had a dedicated room for an art studio and she liked to dabble in art. Mag was always a keen supporter of youth, and this was one of the reasons that prompted Jeff Close and Bente Moller to establish the memorial awards in 2001.

Marg Wooderson Memorial Champion Juvenile (Handicraft)
2016 Winner: J Hasted
2017 Winner: J. Durack
2018 Winner: S. Sorensen
2019 Winner: H. McCalman

Marg Wooderson Memorial Champion Juvenile Print (Photography)
2016 Winner: S. Fogarty
2017 Winner: S. Clark
2018 Winner: B. Elliott
2019 WInner: A. Ellis

Joan Little (ne Smuksta) was born in Chicago in 1943, later moving to California. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Long Beach City College, then travelled extensively, meeting and falling in love with John Little in Europe and later marrying him. She taught in Townsville for a few years, before settling at Lanifer, Winton in 1970.

Always trying different arts and crafts (her daughter Tina remembers wood burning, enamel jewellery, pottery, watercolour painting, sewing and embroidery), she had a love of photography and donated her time to teach classes each week at StPatricks School in Winton. Joan was always a keen supporter of the Show, with entries in a multitude of sections (chooks in the Poultry Pavilion and cooking, gardening, art and photography in the Main Pavilion). Joan passed away in 1987 after battling breast cancer and is remembered as a beautiful person with a cheerful outlook on life.

Joan Little Memorial Aggregate Juvenile Points 8 Yrs & Under
2016 Winner: S. Clark
2017 Winner: S. Clark
2018 Winner: B. Searle
2019 Winner: A. Ellis

2020 Winner: No Show Held

Rosemary Bryce moved to Colston in the Winton area in the early 80s when she married Ross Bryce. They had two children, Malinda and Michael. Rose was always a keen supporter of the Winton Show especially the cooking section and she most often won Champion Cake with her legendary sponge. Rose made these celebration sponges for many family and other occasions and there was never a flop, they where always perfectly risen and golden! She once commented to me that, if she dies, people would only remember her for her sponge cake, nothing else. Rose sadly and unexpectedly passed away in February 2000 and it wasn’t long after that a suggestion was made that a memorial award be given for the Champion Cake each year at the show in her honor. At first I was very reluctant, her words ringing in my ears. I did agree after a while, the suggestions having been made with all god intentions, but I also decided that it would bring her to the minds of people at that time every year, and bring comfort in her remembrance to her family. If she doesn’t like it… well that’s what she gets for being such a good cook!

Rosemary Bryce Memorial Champion Exhibit
2016 Winner: J. Clark
2017 Winner: L. Murphy
2018 Winner: L. Lenton
2019 Winner: N. Durack
2020 Winner: No Show Held

Barbara lived in the Winton district for over 52 years. The Howard family moved into Winton in 1980 when the family purchased the Winton Newsagency.  Barb was actively involved with many committees during this time including the Winton Pastoral & Agricultural Show Society Inc., where she was Cookery Steward till 2009. In 2010 the Winton Show started the memorial trophy for her in the Special Occasions cake section supported by her children.

Barb Howard Memorial Aggregate Points Special Occassions
2016 Winner: J. Clark
2017 Winner: J. Clark
2018 Winner: N. Durack & L. Lenton
2019 Winner: N. Durack
2020 Winner: No Show Held

Mildred Lenton as she was known, was involved in the Handicraft side of the Winton Show for many years; either helping or entering many of her own Handicraft items. She was known in her family for making many different items from cross-stitch to teddy bears. Mildred was awarded an OBE for her services to the Community and Methodist Church.

CM Lenton Memorial Champion Exhibit
2016 Winner: J. Fogarty
2017 Winner: J. Fogarty
2018 Winner: T. McQueen
2019 Winner: J. Turnbull
2020 Winner: No Show Held

Nat loved preparing for the Winton Show; she would take the week off work to go and organise her sections. Nat’s love was the Art Section and she would take great pride in writing the cards up in her beautiful calligraphy handwriting. Nat started helping in the School section of the Pavilion in the early 1970s.

Natalie Thomson Memorial Champion Juvenile Art
2016 Winner: S. Cant
2017 Winner: T. Fogarty
2018 Winner: R. Bradshaw
2019 Winner: J. Clarke
2020 No Show Held

Tania was a staunch supporter of the Winton Show. Tania loved her Handicraft and took great pride in her quilts, also offering her time throughout the show week preparing sections of the pavilion throughout the years. Tania’s other love at the show was the horses and especially the pony/children’s section. She would never fail to help in the horse ring when needed and in Tania’s words, I help as long as I am in the Kids Ring.

Tania Lenton Memorial Champion Quilt
2017 Winner: L. Lenton
2018 Winner: L. Lenton
2019 Winner: –
2020 Winner: No Show Held

Chris retired to Winton in 1990 with her husband Ray. She almost immediately become heavily involved in community groups, such as QCWA and Lionesses. She also loved preparing and entering into the local show, every year. Putting entries in numerous cooking sections as well as handicraft. Which included knitting, sewing, jigsaws and dressing her vintage dolls.  She went on to become a pavilion volunteer, taking the week prior to the show to help set up the various sections. Then went onto become the Steward of the handicraft section, here she was in her element and really enjoyed the task. In the 2018 following her passing the family sponsored a Memorial Aggregate Trophy for the handicraft section in her name.

Chris Angus Memorial Champion Knitting or Crochet Piece
2018 Winner: E. East & J. Muntelwit
2019 Winner: L. Lenton
2020 Winner: No Show Held