2017 Taree and District Eisteddfod marks 50th anniversary

Isabella Howard, Katelyn Davidson, Ruby Hann and Moya Wills during the first day of the Taree and District Eisteddfod.
Isabella Howard, Katelyn Davidson, Ruby Hann and Moya Wills during the first day of the Taree and District Eisteddfod.

The 50th anniversary year of the Taree and District Eisteddfod is underway.

Tuesday morning (April 18) saw a flurry of excitement and anticipation in the Tourist Information Centre theatrette in Taree as last minute preparations for the day took place.

The first performer was seven-year-old Isabella Howard from Tinonee who sang On the Good Ship Lollipop in the eight years and under Restricted Vocal Solo.

Her fellow entrants were Katelyn Davidson, Moya Wills and Ruby Hann.

President of the eisteddfod society Tim Stack opened the eisteddfod, saying he was “proud” the event has made it to 2017. 

“The first year (1968) ran just over four days and now we are over 37 days, so we must be doing something right!”

He said the key to the success of the eisteddfod is the “wonderful” people involved. 

“From the coordinators to the volunteers – which comes back to everybody because we all do it voluntarily.”

Tim, who has been president for 40 years, believes the eisteddfod gives people an opportunity to perform with others on stage as well as learn valuable life lessons.

“Performing with others lets you see where you are performing in the deck,” he said. 

“Maybe you go through with the same people and some years you will perform better than others, which is the way life goes.

“It’s not only about your performance but also that adjudicators see different aspects in people. It’s their opinion.”

He said it comes down to living with the outcome and not letting it take up too much of your psyche. “It’s a good lesson but it is a hard lesson.

“We never lose sight that kids are hugely nervous.” He said each time they perform it gives them confidence to do it again, deal with the nerves and “hopefully grow through them”. 

It’s a confidence they can take into their everyday life.

Bayley Read from Taree performs in the Song in Costume section.

Bayley Read from Taree performs in the Song in Costume section.

The eisteddfod moves into the Manning Entertainment Centre on April 22.