Introducing three of the Maleny Show Society new life members

Bill Hankinson

BILL Hankinson has been associated with the Maleny Show Society for more than 55 years.

Bill was the chief ring steward for most of that time, a job that included obtaining sponsorship, recruiting judges, keeping records and organising helpers on the day.

He remains a steward in the main ring and can be seen more than a week out from the show setting things up in rain, hail or shine.

From a young age, Bill worked alongside his uncle Dave Hankinson and was mentored by the late Laurie Wild, who he remembers fondly.

The trio built wooden yards for the rodeo and bamboo yards for the show horses. In those days this was no easy feat, with the heavy show jumping hurdles requiring plenty of manpower to build.

Bill says becoming a life member of the Maleny Show Society, which he treasures dearly, is humbling and a great honour but he couldn’t have done it without the help of others along the way.

“There’s a lot of other people that deserve this just as much as I do,” he said.

“When I came into the show there were a lot of people who helped me.

“If I try to list everyone’s names, I know I’ll forget someone but Laurie Wild and my wife Marlene made my life a lot easier.

“Marlene was the entry secretary in the ring for many years and she was a big help to everyone at the show,” Bill said.

Monica and Fraser Skerman

MONICA and Fraser Skerman have been involved with the Maleny Show Society for more than 40 years.

Fraser, touted as a quiet achiever, was involved with the grounds committee where he continually worked on projects throughout the year, keeping the place looking its best at all times.

This involved maintenance of the ovals, washing down all the buildings and pathways, painting seats and buildings, and arriving weeks before the show to prepare his beloved dairy section, which he has been involved in since the dairy shed was built.

Fraser supplied cattle in the days of the rodeo and was always on hand to help pull out trucks that inevitably got bogged once the show was wrapped up.

He is still an active member of the committee and can always be found in the kitchen washing up after any show ball, dance or community event.

His wife Monica has been equally as active in her 40 years of service. She originally joined the team with Mrs Wilds’ horse catering staff before becoming involved in all facets of the show.

Monica became vice president and the Maleny representative at the Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies, travelling to shows around the region representing Maleny.

She has also been the show girl coordinator and a member of the show ball committee, spending hours obtaining sponsors and contacting girls to represent the show. Monica encouraged the committee to endorse a rural ambassador as part of the Maleny Show, something that has proven extremely successful.

She has also contributed plenty of yummy food and countless hours organising a plethora of other events throughout the show, with the dairy section her absolute favourite.

Monica said it was great to be recognised after 40 years of doing what she loved.

“I just love how these shows bring the entire community together,” she said.

“I’ve been involved with shows pretty much my entire life now and a big part of the enjoyment for me is the friendships that come with it. I think Fraser and I will be active with the Show Society for as long as we physically can,” Monica said.

The contributions of the Show Society’s most recent life members Betty and George Diefenbach will be shared in the next edition of GC&M News.