Emma Pritchard, Clarence Valley Independent
Proudly holding his beautifully framed certificate in his hands, Grafton man Ian McGaw remains humble and appreciative as he shares the story behind it.
After dedicating more than 60 years of service to local shows, including the Grafton Show, Mr McGaw was recognised for his selfless contributions by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW who recently presented him with a certificate of appreciation for his ongoing support and service to the most famous show in Australia, the Royal Easter Show.
Although Mr McGaw was due to receive the prestigious honour in 2020, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic meant he was forced to wait another twelve months before he could finally hold it.
Admitting it was worth the wait, Mr McGaw, who grew up in Tomingley in the Central Western region of NSW and has lived in the Clarence Valley since the 1970’s, has always been passionate about sharing the country and Australian agriculture with the city and metropolitan communities.
He has volunteered countless hours to show societies as a steward and chief steward, and he has been involved with the Grafton Show for over 40 years.
Describing the “friendships formed through volunteering” and being able to “share your knowledge with others” as highlights throughout his association with local shows and the Royal Easter Show, Mr McGaw said he felt very humble upon receiving his certificate during the Easter long weekend, and he is looking forward to adding “a few more years” to his impressive portfolio.
“I always enjoy being a part of local shows because you get to meet and work alongside some really good people who share similar interests with you and events like shows bring communities together as well and you’re involved in making that happen,” he said.
“I’ve been attending the Royal Easter Show since 1955, I’ve only missed a handful through the years, and I’ve been volunteering at the Grafton Show for more than 40 years as well.
“I love what I do, and it is very humbling to be recognised for the work I’ve done.”
Mr McGaw is the Chief Steward of Farm Produce at the 2021 Grafton Show and can tell you more about choosing the best exhibits than the information cards alongside the fruit and vegetables at the local supermarkets.
He also possesses a superb knowledge of Australian produce and there are not many fruits and vegetables he would not be able to name.
Although he admits the recent season hasn’t been the best one for local producers, Mr McGaw is looking forward to seeing the fresh produce on display at the 2021 Grafton Show which is being held this week at the Grafton Showground.
2021 will also be added as another year when he dedicated his time to his local community and local show society.
“I have to keep myself active somehow,” he said with a smile.
This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 21 April 2021.