Paying tribute to 'Our Jill'
BANANA'S Jill Galloway has tried her best to duck the limelight of the nationally distributed book Cattlemen in Pearls, which pays tribute to women in agriculture, specifically those dedicated to Australia's beef industry.
Members of the Callide Valley Show committee were delighted to see "our Jill” featured alongside others from around the country and, in particular, to see her 40 years of service to the show recognised.
The committee asked Mrs Galloway and her daughter Tracey Hartmann, one of the book's five authors, to officially open the 84th Callide Valley Show.
"I was taken aback by the invitation, but it was an absolute honour because the Biloela Show has been a major part of my family's history in the district,” Mrs Galloway said.
"My father Allan Arneil started supporting the show in the 1930s and he remembers walking 20 horses from 'Torsdale' to the showgrounds, with three other men on horseback to help.
"Dad clocked up 53 years on the show committee and 13 of those were as president and he passed this passion onto his wife Ailsa and children.
"Dad would truck in enough horses for his six children to compete with and we'd camp in a tent on the grounds,” she said.
"Some years we'd wake to frost on the ground, other days were sweltering hot!
"Outside of the ring, I have fond memories of the rivalry between the Rural Youth Clubs at Biloela, Yaparaba and our club Thangool.
"They were all vying to win the show's display competition.”
In 1978 Mrs Galloway volunteered to help organise the Stock Horse Feature Show.
She found a meeting room full of men, bar the then secretary, Mavis Saal.
"Being the only female never daunted me,” she said.
"We had a great show, and the number of women on committees has grown ever since.
"At the time, my husband Graham exhibited brafords and, for a while, I tried to compete with both the horses and cattle, but by 1985 I had two small children underfoot so chose the stud cattle ring, where I ended up being the chief steward for 32 years.
"When I look back, I am so grateful to the show committee for those opportunities and for all the skills you didn't know you needed in life, and all the wonderful people you meet when you volunteer,” Mrs Galloway said.
"I'm delighted to have handed my role over to my long-time steward and supporter Jenny O'Connell.
"Opening the Callide Valley Show also gave me a chance to pay tribute to my family, past and present.
”I must mention my brother Gavin Arneil, who has been an enthusiastic competitor at the show for 62 consecutive years, the first 25 years with horses and the last 37 with trade cattle, with too many wins to mention.”