There’s a familiar face found year-after-year in the pavilion of the Bundaberg Show, some may even say the annual event wouldn’t be the same without the smile of Shirley Baldwin.
Whether it’s sharing information about the baking, the handcraft or the horticultural aspects of the Bundaberg Show Shirley’s face lights up, each and every time.
This year Shirley took on the role as one of the stewards, and she also entered a number of horticulture sections and took home champion in the foliage section.
Shirley was born into the show business, her first memory of the Bundaberg Show was when she was just 5 years old when she recalls falling from the back of a truck while delivering competition goods with her parents, a mishap that ended in a broken arm.
“Back in those days the ambulance came and took me away, but my parents were so busy they couldn’t come to hospital with me,” she smiles.
“It’s my first show memory, but each and every show since has been full of wonderful memories.”
Bundaberg born and bred, Shirley is heavily involved with the QCWA, and was awarded Senior Citizen of the Year in 2020.
“The region wouldn’t be the same without the show, it’s that annual event that everyone, young and old, looks forward to,” she said.
“I’m 81 years old now, and I don’t reckon I’ve ever missed a show.”
Shirley said she, and husband Bob – who is also her right-hand man – weren’t able to do as many things as they used to, but their passion for the Bundaberg Show was as strong as ever as they sat together to share stories with passer-byes.
“My mother was heavily involved in the shows, she was a wonderful baker – I don’t think anyone could make a sponge cake like hers,” Shirley recalls.
“My daughters, and granddaughters, also take part too – I guess show business runs in our blood.
“The creativity has flowed down through the generations.”
The great-grandmother said the Bundaberg Show was a highlight of her life living in the region, and it was something she would always treasure.
“It’s always in my mind, throughout the year I’m thinking about the competitions, and what to enter; whether its while I’m fertilising next year’s entries, or gather my thoughts on past winners, I really do love the Show.”