Sue Constable: The ultimate in showgirls
A FRIENDLY request to help at the 1983 Mullumbimby show while at the vet with her dog evolved into Sue Constable dedicating three decades to North Coast shows.
And the generous grandmother has loved every minute of it.
From Townsville to Coffs Harbour and many towns and cities in between, Mrs Constable has become a familiar face, and a lynchpin of the show scene.
Starting as an assistant show secretary, the Mullumbimby woman has worked in cattle rings, horse rings, exhibited cakes and jams, judged showgirls, worked in the office, exhibition pavilions, been a show secretary and on show committees.
"I have always loved shows, but I had no experience in running or working at a show, only experience in running a business," she said.
Once the bug had bitten, Mrs Constable started helping out at other shows around the region.
"Because I'm an inquisitive person and was keen to help I wanted to know how every section of the shows worked."
Mrs Constable quickly gained valuable experience and was soon able to manage many aspects of a country show.
"Over the years I have helped out at shows including Nimbin, Woodenbong, Kyogle, Casino, Alstonville, Murwillumbah, Bangalow, Lismore, Mullumbimby, Graf- ton, Maclean and Coffs Harbour."
Three years after she started in the show scene, Mrs Constable was elected Far North Coast Group Representative, and travelled to Sydney to the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW.
Known to people in the show scene as "a general fairy", Mrs Constable said the tradition of Australian country shows was unique around the world.
"No one does it like we do where we encompass the cattle, poultry, horses, produce and exhibitors."
"We have a saying, 'if you're ever in town and you have a problem the first place you go for help is to the showground and if there is a show person there they will help you out'."
Mrs Constable said she still had a driving passion for local shows and was not ready to retire from the scene just yet.
If you see Mrs Constable at one of the upcoming Northern Rivers shows, say hello, and better still, volunteer to help out.