Image:  Ekka judge Shirley Elsden and daughter Janelle Hintz. Credit: Ursula Skjonnemand.

Behind the yet-to-be-opened doors of the arts and crafts pavilion at this years Ekka a group of dedicated women and men busily set about judging the entries and creating  displays of the myriad of cakes, conserves, confectionery, craft and clever photography that will delight show goers from tomorrow.

Many of the volunteers have been involved with Ekka and the RNA (Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland) since they can remember and often the baton of judging and assisting is handed down through generations of Queensland families.

One such family is RNA judge Shirley Elsden’s. 

Shirley, who is in her early 80s, has been judging at the Ekka since 1988 following many years of judging at regional shows in Queensland.

Grandfather John Robert Martin was well known as an agricultural exhibitor in Toowoomba and Shirley’s father was also a show exhibitor.

John Robert Martin was awarded a heart shaped gold pin for ‘Most Successful Exhibitor in Show’ at The Toowoomba Show (now The Toowoomba Royal Show) in 1900.

Ekka badge 1900

The pin that was won by Shirley Elsden’s grandfather for most successful exhibitor at the Toowoomba Show in 1900. Credit: Ursula Skjonnemand.

The family’s contribution to the people of south-east Queensland is continuing with Shirley’s daughter, Janelle Hintz, who this year is an associate judge in the arts, crafts and cookery sections.

Shirley speaks with pride about her family’s long involvement with Ekka and will pass the family pin on to Janelle to carry on the tradition after this years show.


Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

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