As a young girl, Judy Morrison (nee Blake) remembers her mother was into plenty of ‘‘bits and pieces’’.
From training debutantes and teaching them to dance, to encouraging her 20-year-old daughter to enter the Miss Euroa Showgirl contest, it was her mother’s influence that saw her lining up among other entrants on an October day in 1959.
‘‘I can remember, it was pretty embarrassing having to get up and parade in front of people and be asked questions. Something I had never done, but it turned out beautifully,’’ Mrs Morrison said.
She was a shocked young woman when she was announced as the winner.
‘‘I was just very delighted that it turned out that way.’’
Working as a comptometrist at Benalla’s Country Roads Board at the time, Mrs Morrison made her way to Melbourne to compete alongside other winners across the state.
‘‘I was probably more nervous down there than ever in my life before, even on my wedding day I don’t think I was that nervous,’’ she said.
‘‘I’d never really been away from home. It was nerve-racking.
‘‘I met some lovely people, some I still keep in touch with.
‘‘It was a great thing to do, I was very delighted at the end of it all, I was very delighted when it was all over then.’’
After marrying champion shearer Brian in 1961, the couple travelled around Australia, starting in Longreach in Queensland in January and working their way through Australia before ending up in Tasmania just before Christmas.
Several years later the husband and wife started Morrisons of Euroa, creating and manufacturing moleskins and shearing dungarees, employing dozens of workers and continuing to manufacture in Euroa for decades.
Now living in Benalla, Mrs Morrison said she had enjoyed an incredibly fulfilling life, including raising four boys.
‘‘I’ve had a very, very interesting live, I’ve been a shearers’ cook and mother.
‘‘You name it, I seem to have done it.’’