RAY Sawtell, a life member of the Cobargo AP&H Society, has been attending shows in his hometown for almost 70 years.
“I remember my first show, it was 1946 and the first show after World War 2 ended,” he said.
“There were lots of people and cars about, and I was only about seven and I remember thinking something special was happening.”
Mr Sawtell still thinks the Cobargo Show is something special, as well as the agricultural show movement in general.
“I enjoy meeting people through the show and promoting agriculture to young people, I never tire of it,” he said.
He is committed to promoting youth in agricultural societies and takes pride in mentoring young judges.
He sits on the board of the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW and was awarded life membership of group zone Far South Coast and Tablelands in 2012, the only person ever to be given this honour.
Mr Sawtell first began exhibiting at the Cobargo Show as a junior in the 1950s and in the cattle section in 1958.
“I’ve had a go at most things and I’ve had champion cows, my first in 1959, as well as pigs, vegetables and cut flowers,” he said.
In 1955 he was elected to the Cobargo AP&H committee and in 1962 he was the youngest person ever to be elected president, a record he still proudly holds.
Nothing has ever stopped Mr Sawtell from exhibiting at the show, even ill health.
This year he said his showing in the pavilion was one of his smallest ever due to illness late last year.
“Nothing serious, but it did stop my gardening for a bit last year so my entries were down,” he said.
However, Mr Sawtell still managed to nab eight firsts in the vegetable section!
He said this year’s event, the 117th Cobargo Show, was another fantastic show.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said.