Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick’s muster nostalgia
The Deniliquin Ute Muster reunion and book launch held last week was a nostalgic occasion for many people, not the least being Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick.
He was one of five people in attendance who was at the original meeting in March 1999 to discuss a new festival for Deniliquin.
Cr Renwick has since retained a strong interest in the Deniliquin Play on the Plains Festival and World Record Ute Muster, including two stints as vice president in its early years.
‘‘The growth of the event has been amazing and a wonderful boost for Deniliquin, especially during the difficult drought years,’’ Cr Renwick said.
‘‘I can remember some of the early challenges, like our attempts to stop power cutting out at the very first festival.
‘‘We narrowed down the problem to a doughnut making machine and eventually realised we had to connect it to a separate power source.
‘‘There were many small and some not-so-small issues to be overcome, but they were all achieved with incredible enthusiasm and drive to succeed,’’ Cr Renwick said.
He said it was ‘‘very satisfying’’ to see how far the festival had developed.
‘‘The addition of the Blues & Roots Festival to the calendar has also been fantastic, and I am sure it will go from strength to strength,’’ he said.
Cr Renwick congratulated Festival Chairman Harold Clapham and his board, as well as general manager Kathie Heyman and her staff on a successful reunion and book launch.
‘‘I have thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Ute-opia - 15 Deni Ute Muster Years’ and reflecting on the entertainment, activities and antics from each and every Muster.
‘‘I would encourage everyone to get a copy of the book.’’
Cr Renwick said Deniliquin Council was delighted to have played a key role throughout the Ute Muster journey.
‘‘Our tourism manager Gai Geddes, who launched the book last Thursday night, along with former councillor and Chamber of Commerce President Kathy Simpson, called the very first meeting,’’ he said.
‘‘Council staff have always played an integral role in the event, whether from a tourism and economic development perspective or providing assistance through Deni Works.
‘‘Council looks forward to ongoing support and involvement for many years and working with the festival board and staff as it continues to grow.’’
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