It’s Show time here on the Fraser Coast again, which naturally means we’ve all been expecting rain.

Although I have absolutely no intention of setting foot anywhere near the Maryborough Showgrounds over the two day period, I’ve allowed myself a little walk down memory lane.

This first pic is of my nanna and poppie with their oldest child and my dad as a baby. As he was born in April 1939 this photo dates back quite a bit.

cook family show 1939

I’m (quite frankly) a bit disappointed that the dress standard has now slipped and think that a bit of class could be reinstated with a new dress code.

And… I’m pretty sure my dad wouldn’t have made the height restrictions on any of the rides… being 1mth old and all!

* In unrelated news, isn’t my poppie a handsome man?!

PicMonkey Collage show1These could be my first two visits to the Maryborough Show (obviously when it was still being held in the Pallas Street Showgrounds – now home to peeps who dressed like those in the first picture).

I just hafta say though… WTF is with the guy in the second picture?! Perhaps my mum, taking the picture, was a bit dishy back then.

PicMonkey Collage show 2

Obviously by 1973 I’d been able to ditch my older brother who – I must add – was a bit of a wuss when it came to showrides. We have a home movie of a pre-teen me getting off a ride called The Zipper, with one of my brother’s best friends. My brother was nowhere to be seen.

PicMonkey Collage show3Although I remember my velvet phase fondly, I’m a tad embarrassed about the other pics. I was a bit of a basketballer back in the day and started getting bored with scary fast rides around the same time I realised I was good at the basketball game – despite its rigged weighted balls. Fortunately this coincided with the realisation the laughing clowns and their ping pong balls were a waste of friggin’ time! Suddenly it was all about the spoils!

The Show had moved to its current location by the final pics and although I was a HUGE lover of the show in my younger years, I gave the whole thing a big miss in my final year of school. In retrospect, I moved through all of the phases:

  • hooking things with fishing lines, merry-go-rounds and kids’ school displays and competitions
  • scary rides like the whizzer, zipper, octopus and matterhorn, showbags; and as much fairy floss and waffle thingys as you can manage (without them making a return appearance after the aforementioned rides!)
  • wearing new clothes, hanging out with friends and hoping to see the cute boys (which coincided with my fluffy toy fetish!)
  • too bloody old and concerned about human error!

The last time I attended the Maryborough Show was in the early – mid 1990s. My aunt was in town (for a family funeral) and we wandered about with my parents looking at boring stuff animals, cooking, cars and the like. We skipped the dagwood dogs in favour of a steak sandwich and left before the fireworks. But what I most remember, is that my aunt, mother and I decided to go on the matterhorn. For old time’s sake. 

And. Oh. My. God. The fearless me of my childhood had long departed. I felt ill and found my eyes glued to the ride’s machinations (nuts and bolts ‘n’ stuff) wondering who’d screwed them together. Plus… I was almost sick afterwards.

I realised that the Show of my childhood had long disappeared. It was someone else’s turn.

Just as I suspect there are teenagers and young adults ‘dissing’ the Fraser Coast Show this year, I’m sure there are as many five, six and seven year olds out there whose Christmases have all come at once!

*Actual info about the Fraser Coast Show can be found here! There is – as usual – heaps on for those with kids or an interest in livestock, cooking and a myriad of other events.




Z-PAC: The Importance of Being Earnest

Rehearsals are underway for an Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, which will open at Z-PAC Theatre, Zephyr Street Scarness on Friday 22 March.

Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, has stood the test of time like so few others. This is a farcical comedy of manners that is often regarded as one of the greatest plays of all time.

Wilde’s acerbic wit and tantalising manipulation of the English language have crafted a satire so perfect it has remained unmatched for well over a century.

The play follows Jack and Algernon: two bachelors in Victorian England who, bored with the hypocritical nature of their society, both adopt the pseudonym ‘Ernest’ to escape from their routine lives.

When Jack falls in love with the sharp-tongued Gwendolen, and Algernon with Jack’s innocent ward Cecily, whilst both under the guise of Ernest, each man must find a way to shed his alias without disrupting the delicate thread of romance.

The production stars Michael Ware as the nervous and uptight Jack, Taylor Dunn as his icy girlfriend Gwendolen, and welcomes another talented newcomer, Tayla Harding, who brings an air of sweetness to the role of the innocent Cecily.  Familiar faces of Z-PAC regulars Judith La Forest – as Cecily’s tutor Miss Prism, a kind lady with a dark past – and Tamara Bailey as Gwendolen’s draconic mother, Lady Bracknell.  Neil Gee brings a gentle naivety to the role of Dr Chasuble, and Jonathan Dunn is hilarious as Algernon’s long-suffering butler.

Z-PAC’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest is directed by newcomer Bradley Chapman, who also plays Algernon. Brad,  a Gold Coast native who arrived at Z-PAC Theatre last year. A senior drama teacher at Hervey Bay High School, Brad holds a Bachelor’s Degree in drama and film and another in secondary education, with a Performer’s Certificate from Trinity College of London. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to direct this masterpiece.

The show is rated ‘G’ and runs from March 22nd ’til April 13th.  Tickets on sale soon at Mary Ryan Bookshop, Pialba.  Adults $20, Concessions and/or groups 10+ $17.