Betty, 89, lining up for 48th year as show steward
SHE has tasted thousands of jams over the years but the sweet, fruity flavour is something Betty Mooney will never get sick of.
The Bundy woman has strong ties with the Mount Perry Show and is gearing up her tastebuds again for this weekend's festivities as show society steward for the 48th time.
"I started in the cake section where my mother worked,” she said.
"I then stepped in as steward for the jams, chutneys, pickles and sauces and have been doing it ever since.
"I have to be there for when people bring their entries in. I ticket them and document them.
"I am there on show day with the judge and bring out every bottle for tasting and I get little bits to taste here and there.”
Going on 90 in May, Mrs Mooney still makes the trip from Bundaberg to Mount Perry every year to support the community where she grew up.
The region holds a special place in her heart.
"I love Mount Perry because I was born there,” she said.
"The nurses didn't think I was going to live so they immediately got the minister in to christen me.
"A couple of the matrons came to see me years later and said 'oh we have to see the baby who was supposed to die but didn't'.”
Mrs Mooney said she had come across a wide variety of flavours over the years, with some added little surprises along the way.
"Some of the older competitors cook their jams when the fruit is in season and then forget about it for months,” she said.
"By the time they get to us, they have blue mould on the top!”
"My favourite jams by far would be lemon butter and passionfruit butter because they are just so yummy and moreish.”
Her top tips for anyone wanting to enter jams, chutneys, pickles or sauces were originality and fine flavour.
"You have to have good colour and texture and the setting needs to be correct,” Mrs Mooney said.
"It also needs to taste delicious.”
Mrs Mooney said she planned to continue her role at the Mount Perry Show for "as long as I am able”.
"One of the committee members said I have to reach 50 years before I get long service,” she laughed.
MOUNT PERRY SHOW PROGRAM
The Mount Perry Show is on this Saturday from 7am at the Mount Perry Showgrounds.
7am: Cutting Events (rodeo arena)
8am: Working Cattle Dog Trial (main ring)
9am: Team Penning (rodeo arena)
9am: Ring No 2 Events (main ring)
9am: Champion Dog Show (dog ring behind centre car parking area)
9am: Pavilion Closed For Judging
9.30am: Stud Cattle Judging (young judges follow)
9.30am: Prime Cattle Judging (young judges follow)
10am: Sashing Miss Showgirl (secretary's office)
10am: Hacks and showjumping (main ring)
11.30am: Pavilion opens for viewing
Noon: Events halt for Clive Wallace dedication (stage near secretary's office)
1pm: Prime Cattle prize presentations (secretary's office)
2pm: Knitting Competition (bar area)
3pm: Sporting events (main ring)
About 5pm: Australian Rooftop Express, barbecue and bar, music and night woodchop