In 1959, at just 18 years old, a young Heather Hargreaves (nee Moresi) was awarded the title of 1960 Boort Miss Showgirl at the October show, qualifying to travel to Melbourne and compete the following year to become the Victorian Miss Showgirl.
It was an unexpected moment for the young woman, who had merely attended the show as a spectator, only to be plucked from the crowd.
‘‘I think they just picked people out of the crowd (to compete) in those days and then they paraded you, which was a bit embarrassing,’’ Mrs Hargreaves, who still lives in Boort, said.
Wearing a handmade dress, the avid sewer was told she would be travelling to Melbourne for the 1960 Royal Melbourne Show, a source of much excitement for Mrs Hargreaves at the time.
‘‘I remember going to Melbourne and being nervous and thinking how embarrassing ... I think I was terrified,’’ she said.
‘‘Mum and Dad took me to Melbourne. I don’t think I’d been there much before.
‘‘There was lots of nice girls you met, we were all country girls.’’
Although she ultimately wasn’t able to claim the state title, Mrs Hargreaves looks back on her show days fondly — not just those that included her winning Miss Showgirl, but the years her mother encouraged her to enter other show categories.
‘‘They were good days. The show things were good and I used to put so many entries in and win all these prizes.’’
After helping her parents on their farm from a young age, growing grain and raising sheep and cattle, Mrs Hargreaves still lives in the family homestead she grew up in, with fond memories from across the years.
■The RASV is looking for former Miss Showgirls to celebrate the competition’s 60th anniversary. Any former entrants can contact Annette Shiell by email at: [email protected] or by phone on: 9281 7427.
■If you or someone you know is a former Miss Showgirl who would like to share their story in Country News, phone Alana Christensen on 5820 3237 or email: alana.[email protected]