Geoff Gale named new president of Murray Bridge Show society

The A&H society heads into 2021 with a new committee and $15,000 in federal funding.

A new president and a $15,000 grant will help the Murray Bridge Show’s organisers keep going until the event’s return in 2021.

Geoff Gale was chosen as president of the Murray Bridge Agricultural and Horticultural Society at its annual general meeting on November 25.

The Monarto South sheep breeder, who helped build parts of the showgrounds and has volunteered behind the scenes for years, said “transparency and prosperity” would be among his top priorities in the role.

“I am excited by the passion this new team brings to the society,” he said.

“I am very lucky to have (vice presidents) Carolyn Johnson and Jake Fix by my side in this venture, and look forward to realising some of the new ideas that are being bandied about.”

Those ideas would include a renewed focus on the district’s agricultural output, he suggested.

“Ultimately we want to showcase what the region has to offer,” he said.

“We have a diverse community supporting a wide array of industries and all striving for excellence.

“We need help (to) bring this experience to everyone in our community.”

However, that will not be at the expense of rides, show bags and other family highlights.

New secretary Helen Schulz said the show society planned to “bring the excitement back” and book some fantastic entertainment in 2021.

Committee members encouraged anyone interested in volunteering ahead of next year’s show, or anyone with a good idea, to get in touch.

Federal grant will offset difficult two years

The show society has been beset by difficulties during 2020, and not only because of the forced cancellation of this year’s event due to COVID-19.

The show society had been in a troubling financial position ever since the 2019 show, former president Anna Scheepers told Murray Bridge News in July.

A $15,000 grant announced by federal MP Tony Pasin on December 3 should go a long way towards alleviating the pressure.

“The government is keen to ensure show societies and field day organisers are in the best shape possible to continue in 2021,” Mr Pasin said.

“These events bring our families and farmers together, build community spirit and help bridge the divide between country and city.

“They also help to maintain our farmers’ competitive edge by providing an outlet for new ideas, new technologies and new ways of working to be shared.”

Funds from the federal Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program are due to be paid before Christmas.

The Callington Agricultural and Horticultural Society will get more than $4000 through the program, while the shows at Coonalpyn and Mount Pleasant and the farm fair at Karoonda will also benefit.

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