Book a fitting field day tribute

Rebecca TurnerCountryman
DEM assistant co-ordinator Patricia Todd and co-ordinator Jenna Freind.
Camera IconDEM assistant co-ordinator Patricia Todd and co-ordinator Jenna Freind. Credit: Countryman

The Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days has reached a major milestone this year with 2014 marking the 50th event.

Already the community of Dowerin has been celebrating the anniversary with volunteers attending the Dowerin Field Days Reunion in April.

The afternoon recognised and remembered the contributions made by volunteers to the town's major event.

For many, it was a welcome opportunity to walk down memory lane, thanks to the work of Patsy Metcalf and the "Dream Team", a group of women led by Noela Newman.

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Those involved spent a considerable amount of time compiling and sorting through the archives of memorabilia of the Dowerin field days, collected by Dowerin Events Management, which in turn was used to help Mrs Metcalf create five memory boards.

The boards were on display during the volunteer reunion and will also be on show during the field days. The memorabilia they feature include programs from the past 50 years, catering accounts, uniforms and the development of the Act-Belong-Commit Ag Art Wear display.

Mrs Metcalf said compiling the boards had brought to light a lot of interesting things more modern-day volunteers and exhibitors would not be aware of in regards to how the Dowerin field days had developed, as well as a large amount of photographs.

"At the reunion, many of our older volunteers spent a long time looking through the changes they had witnessed," Mrs Metcalf said. "I have been in Dowerin for 45 years and found I learnt a lot about the Dowerin field days' development by creating the memory boards. It was a really good experience."

Also launched at the volunteer reunion in April was the Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days 50th Anniversary coffee table book. Taking more than two years to compile, it is a historic pictorial book in memory of the volunteers behind the development of the Dowerin field days.

The DEM team, with additional funding from the Shire of Dowerin, compiled and published the 200-page glossy A4 book.

DEM assistant event co-ordinator Patricia Todd said the book did not contain a lot of text. She said the intention was to allow the pictures collected over the past 50 years to tell the story of how the Dowerin field days had developed, and in particular recognise the contributions volunteers had made to the event's success during this time.

"The book was launched on April 12 at the volunteer reunion, with the delivery of books arriving just in time," Mrs Todd said.

The book was published by Zacks Commercial Artists in Thornlie and will be for sale at a subsidised price of $30 a book, or $50 for two, at this year's event.

Accompanying the book will be a CD of voice recordings of volunteers' experiences and memories of the Dowerin field days.

The CD was recorded by DEM and was facilitated by Melina Turriff and Norm Henning. It contains about an hour of recordings.

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