Bega’s Ethel Finney is bringing her long history with country shows and experience of exhibiting in pavilions all over the state to the Bega Show this weekend.
After bringing home an impressive array of awards from this year’s Cobargo Show, Ms Finney has been busily preparing over 40 exhibits for the Bega Show in yarncraft, needlework and cooking.
Growing up in Cobargo, Ms Finney first exhibited arts and cakes in her local show at the age of five.
Since then she has moved to Castle Hill west of Sydney and Inverell in Northern NSW, keeping a close relationship with the respective Country Women’s Associations and show committees.
In 2010, Ms Finney moved back to the region. Almost eight decades after her first appearance, she is now exhibiting again at the Cobargo and Bega shows.
“My main problem is finding new recipes that I haven’t tried yet, I’m always flipping through craft and cooking books for inspiration,” she said.
“I don’t have a favourite recipe, my favourite thing to cook is something new.”
This year, Ms Finney is submitting an iced orange cake, a date slice and a sultana, raisin and carrot slice.
“I love to show off my work, and if you don’t help these shows through exhibiting, they won’t be able to keep going,” she said.
Ms Finney first attended shows with her father, who showed cattle at Cobargo and Bega.
“I remember the singing competition and riding the poddy calves,” she said.
“We’d have a picnic behind the car and boil potatoes in the copper over the fire to feed the show committee.”
Ms Finney said shows had changed over the years with more sideshow events and rides which are important to draw crowds back each year, but the traditional country show feel can still be found within the pavilion walls.