Loretta Harrington was talked into entering the Miss Showgirl competition at the Dookie Show in 1967 and, to her surprise, won. Rob McLean catches up with Loretta, now known as Loretta Whiteman, more than 40 years later.November 28, 2012 2:21pm
Loretta Harrington caught the judges’ eye at the annual Dookie Show in 1967.
The youthful beauty of the then 16-year-old combined with a daffodil-yellow ensemble purchased by her mum saw the reluctant entrant declared Miss Showgirl.
Loretta (whose surname is now Whiteman, and who owns and operates Solar City Seafoods with her husband Peter) had only agreed to enter the competition after being reassured by her dad, Campbell.
Feeling some pressure from her sister, and mum Molly, Loretta said she felt somewhat better after talking with her dad, who said that if she took a change of clothes she could quickly slip back into the country show spirit once the judging was finished.
However, in a sense the plan went astray – as Miss Showgirl, Loretta had to remain at her showgirl best for the grand parade later in the day, during which she was shown-off sitting in a boat towed behind a car.
Later Loretta, who will turn 62 in January, worked first in finance, and then after buying a house in Queensland was offered a job in real estate before she was "head-hunted" for a key role in the marketing of an elite canalestate at Raby Bay, south-east of Brisbane - and it was there that she met Peter.
Loretta’s mum died in January 2001; as her dad’s health was deteriorating, she and Peter moved back from Queensland that same year, but then her dad died in December of that year.
Loretta, who said she was "never blessed with children", declares she has had a "good life"; she finds relaxation in cooking, and drives - and loves - a rather smart gold Holden Monaro.
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