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by Bridget Ninness

Tomorrow Marg Foster, president of the Bingara Country Women’s Association, will make her way to the showground to set up the CWA display in preparation for this weekend’s annual Bingara Show. Over a hundred years ago Bingara resident Grace Emily Munro founded the CWA believing passionately that a better life for country women could be provided ‘for women, through women and by women’. Today the CWA is the largest voluntary women’s organisation in Australia.

In 1930, during the Great Depression, Grace’s son, H. Gordon Munro put together a committee and the first Bingara Show was held in August 1931.

He wrote in the first show program “The present time seems inopportune and, owing to the wave of depression, today’s difficulties overshadow yesterday’s triumphs and obscure the bright visions of tomorrow. What better advertisement for our district than the fact that Bingara can hold its first show, and what is more, show the world that Bingara and its people will meet their troubles in the same manner that their forebears overcame their difficulties.”

This Saturday 18 May the gates open at 6:00 am for a jam packed weekend of events.

“Our main day is Saturday and Saturday night we’ll have the rodeo kick off about 6 o’clock.” Says Show president Damien Crump.

“At this stage our Camp Draft looks like it’s going ahead. The weather looks like it’s playing along with us.”

Catching up with friends is the main drawcard these days for Show Patron Hugh Munro, founder H. Gordon Munro’s son.

“My father exhibited his stud Angus cattle at the show for a very long period of time. In those days the show was before Sydney and it was a good walnut for Sydney.”

“These days the horse section is really well attended with pony club events and all sorts of other things and camp drafting is also a big thing.”

The show has remained a proud tradition spanning over 85 years surviving the Great Depression, WWII, droughts and financial crisis.

“This year B & B Marshall’s Haulage is our major sponsor. They cart the cattle in for our camp draft and do a magnificent job” says Damien Crump.

“Without the sponsors we’ve got no show. The sponsors make the show. We are very, very appreciative of all our sponsors.”

Marg Foster encourages women to join the CWA at the show.

“We only have nine members here at Bingara so we are just putting up a display this year.”

“We are always looking for members.”

The CWA is a not for profit organisation and members work for the welfare of all women and their families – city and country – through representation to all levels of government, fundraising events and the teaching of life skills.

Remembering his grandmother’s legacy, Hugh Munro says “Today I suppose she would be called a women’s libber because she was doing a lot of things for women in the country that they deserved but never had what the city women had. She was a strong advocate for women in that time.”

Expect all the events you know and love at regional shows. The Best Dressed pet and owner is always popular family fun at the Pet Show which will be held on Sunday at 11am, (entries restricted to all preschool and school aged children).

“It should be a lovely weekend down in beautiful Bingara” says show president Damien Crump.

“Bingara is always upbeat really. It is tough times financially speaking but the show gives people a day out to get away from the salt mine.”

“We hope you enjoy what our region has to offer.”

General admission fees for non members. Adults - $10. Children (6-18) - $5 and under 5 free.

Camping fee $15 for the duration of the show.

The Show program can be located on the Gwydir Council Website here

Published New England Times Thursday 16 May 2024

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