Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

'Ernie's Army' Hits Showgrounds

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

'Ernie's Army' Hits Showgrounds

Article excerpt

THIS week has seen a small army of volunteers moulding the Allora Showgrounds into shape ready to host the 136th Allora Annual Show.

While there is action aplenty around the 13-plus hectares, a shed adjacent to the showgrounds' main entrance is also abuzz with activity.

A peek inside the doors of the home base of the Southern Downs Poultry Club, the Ernie Young Poultry Pavilion, caught club volunteers Leanne Doepel and Kayleen Weidemann hard at work.

They were preparing the pavilion for the 2014 Allora Annual Show commencing this Friday.

The women were not alone.

Poultry Club elder statesman Ernie Young was keeping a close watch on the preparations.

He has spent all his free time in recent months renovating the pavilion and repainting the showing pens ready for this week's big event.

The 85-year-old retired janitor/groundsman, who worked at Brisbane's West End State School for 20 years, constructed all of the 204 poultry showing pens in the pavilion some years back.

The showing facility is now among the better venues in the region.

When complimented on his commitment, the loyal Poultry Club volunteer grins and comments: "I'm just a slave, but a willing slave; what I do keeps me going.

"Aside from some assistance with gear by Allora builder Ken Petersen, I used all my own tools to make all the pens, including my trusty Triton saw bench.

Among the community's quiet volunteers, Ernie is a familiar sight in his red 1994 Mitsubishi Magna sedan making his way to and from Allora Hardware, acquiring the various things that have contributed to the tremendous presentation of the Poultry Pavilion named in his honour.

Ernie and his family relocated from Brisbane to Allora in 1964.

His motivation that has resulted in the amazing contribution he makes, evolved from childhood when he kept birds as an interest, that interest continuing later in life with a parrot aviary. …

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