When 20-year-old Glenda Stanyer (nee Peel) arrived at the Royal Melbourne Show in 1981, she was full of excitement for the statewide Miss Show Girl competition.
It was a long road for the young woman. Having taken out the 1980 Miss Show Girl competition at the Swan Hill agricultural show, she had proceeded to the regional finals to compete for Miss Northern but with tight competition it almost appeared as though she might not make it to the Victorian state competition.
‘‘It was a very tough decision so I ended up coming equal first,’’ Mrs Stanyer said.
‘‘So I was off to Melbourne and I met some of the other girls that had won their region and I think we spent about three or four days in Melbourne.’’
Throughout their time in Melbourne, the girls stayed in Exhibition St at the Southern Cross Hotel — which has since been demolished — and travelled to the showgrounds, taking in all the sights the Royal Melbourne Show had to offer.
‘‘I remember really enjoying meeting the girls from the different areas,’’ Mrs Stanyer said.
‘‘I was probably nervous (about the competition) but I just decided it was a journey to enjoy, I didn’t care if I won or not, I just went along for the ride with no expectations.’’
As part of the judging each young woman was interviewed in front of a judging panel, and in 1981 they were faced with seasoned interviewer — and then Nine News Melbourne presenter — Brian Naylor, who questioned the young women about themselves and their region.
Ultimately, Mrs Stanyer came very close to gaining the state title, placing second in the Victorian competition.
It was a whirlwind experience for the young woman who went on to be married the following year aged 21, eventually giving birth to two daughters and pursuing a fulfilling career in the aged care sector.
Having recently completed further study Mrs Stanyer has returned to northern Victoria after 34 years living in Melbourne and now lives in Bendigo.
■The RASV is looking for former Miss Show Girls to celebrate the competition’s 60th anniversary. Contact Annette Shiell by email at [email protected] or by phone on 92817427.
■To share your showgirl story with Country News, phone Alana Christensen on 5820 3237 or email [email protected]