BEHIND THE SCENES: Longest serving and youngest serving Maryborough Eisteddfod committee volunteers Bev Pelling (43 yrs) and Jemma Tennant (3 yrs).
BEHIND THE SCENES: Longest serving and youngest serving Maryborough Eisteddfod committee volunteers Bev Pelling (43 yrs) and Jemma Tennant (3 yrs). Alistair Brightman

The show must go on for the Eisteddfod

THE Maryborough Eisteddfod may almost be over but for the volunteers and committee members the show must go on.

The small committee count on volunteers young and older to help during the week-long competition which has been going since 1903.

Longest serving committee member and volunteer Bev Pelling said she had seen many changes over her 43 years with the eisteddfod.

"Even though we were always looking for volunteers, committee members and sponsors, the talent we have in Maryborough is second to none," Bev said.

The piano teacher who has entered many pupils into the competition said each category had its popularity over its many years.

"We would havea week of piano and instruments where now, even though it is starting to build up, we have two days.

"But in saying that there is a much bigger area of school choirs and bands than there used to be.

"Dance was dropped out, missing for 10 years and has only made a resurgence over the last few years."

These days Bev said she was just the cook, ensuring the volunteers and adjudicators were fuelled for the week-long competition - but other volunteers would disagree.

Before that Bev was involved with her children's sporting commitments and committees but still volunteering at the eisteddfod.

Youngest volunteer Jemma Tennant said Bev was the resident speech and drama expert.

"Well actually Bev is our resident in most things expert - she can do the music, the drama, she is our go-to person really."

The Maryborough High school captain has been a member for three years and volunteering for five.

"I did enter into the competition but that wasn't what drove me to be part of the team," Jemma said.

"I have always loved helping out, volunteering and leadership.

"It was going to be a good thing to put on my league of applications - captain, duty captain, counsels in the school.

"It is something I enjoy doing and it will get me things I want to do in the future.

"And for now - I wouldn't give it up for anything in the world."

Jemma said it was an awesome experience.

"We do need volunteers and we need them on the committee."

Committee secretary Dawn Tennant said they welcomed younger members to the committee.

"It is a youth eisteddfod and we want to be able to bring the youth in - in all capacities, not just entering," Dawn said.

"We want them to be part of it, so we want an interest from their age group - they deserve a say.

"We have got a whole new generation coming through who we want to keep encouraging to join."

Dawn said they were already preparing for next year's competition.

"We are into the planning phase for next year.

"It takes us 12 months to get it all organised including invites to the adjudicators and awaiting their acceptance."

The secretary said they didn't do any fundraising but were always looking for sponsors.

"Our sponsorships start out from as little as $25 and you get your name in the program - it is quite reasonable.

"You can make any size contribution and we take payment in kind for example David's Ultrasound down the bay - they sell our programs."

Dawn also said that the committee could really use a better equipped photocopier.

"We would only need to use it during the eisteddfod, could be after hours and we would supply our own paper.

"We have a small machine that really doesn't cut it."


Anyone interested in sponsoring or becoming involved in the Maryborough Eisteddfod can contact maryborough, or Facebook.

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