Alstonville show's fitting tribute to late caretaker
A BITTER-sweet ceremony marked the opening of the 2016 Alstonville Show at the weekend as organisers paid tribute to long-time caretaker Jan Fuller who died earlier this year.
Mrs Fuller and her husband Tinny had lived on site at the showgrounds since the early 1990s and maintained the busy venue for more than 20 years.
Last year Mrs Fuller arranged a special Anzac Day baking competition and this year Show organisers added the same recipes - sweet and savoury dampers and Anzac biscuits - to a new competition in Mrs Fuller's honour.
"She's in the office, where she's always been," a show staffer said at the weekend, pointing to a photograph of Mrs Fuller displayed on the wall.
Show Society president Sam Stephens paid tribute to Mrs Fuller during his official opening speech on Saturday.
The opening ceremony also featured the Show Girl entrants who acknowledged the crowd while being driven around the arena in vintage cars provided by the Northern Rivers Vintage Vehicle Club.
Well away, tucked in a back corner of the showgrounds was the poultry pavilion.
Zoe Fairfull, 11, gave an insight into life with her champion pet duck, Rex.
Zoe said Rex is a free-range muscovy duck who likes to wander down to the DPI dam at night before walking up to the farmhouse in the morning for breakfast.
"He follows you," Zoe said, explaining that she had no dogs or cats.
Ian and Colleen Clark were equally proud of their chickens, especially champion buff-coloured male Sussex, Mark.
"He's gonna stay with us," Mr Clark said.
"He's already got chicks on the ground. He'll have a son of his to take his place one day."
Among the other action on show was the traditional wood-chopping events.
Queenslander Brendan Lahiff made the trip south a success, snatching third at the weekend despite only being a relative newcomer to the sport.
"I like the fitness, the mateship and the competitiveness," he said.