Each year when show season descends on the Riverina, Peter Commens feels his energy levels declining.
The 70-year-old has served as the president of Junee’s Show Society on and off for the past 26 years.
“It’s getting harder and harder to run every year,” Mr Commens said.
“All volunteer organisations are the same, we’re struggling to get new, young volunteers.”
With a birthday just before the show kicks off on Saturday October 27, Mr Commens is aware the show must go on, despite the challenges.
“Our volunteers aren’t getting any younger. Once it might have been easier for us to work all day, doing manual labour, stacking chairs, carrying tables and all the rest. But not now that we’re all getting up there in years,” he said.
“For those of us left, we’ve got to go harder, and there’s only so hard you can go at our age.
“It’s very satisfying when you come along, set something up.”
Despite waning workers, show events always see a strong turn out.
“The support from the community is always fantastic. We try to vary it and have a lot of free things to do so you don’t have to spend a fortune. I think people really appreciate that,” he said.
“You actually don’t miss out on anything if you’re volunteering. Volunteers still get to go to the show.”
Each year, Mr Commen looks forward to the livestock, wool, and grain judging event.
“Believe it or not some who have had no experience actually end up doing it better than those who have been born and bred on the farm,” he said.
Especially following the year’s struggle against the statewide drought, Mr Commens believes the show will be well attended.
“I've found in the past when the chips are down, it’s most important to give people are day out to enjoy and put off the pressures of the world for a day,” he said.
“If we don’t have volunteers to run it, we lose it and that will be a very sad day.”