I recently purchased a copy of the "Celebrating 50 years of Leeton's Festivals and SunRice Ambassador Entrants 1970 - 2020".
The publication was prepared and published by the Leeton Family and Local Historical Society.
What a trip down memory lane it was.
It brought back memories of a long and fabulous association with the festival and the incredible ambassadors.
It took me right back to 1970.
While working at S Richards Department Store (presently Centrepoint Arcade) we entered our first Princess, Maureen Smith.
Then in 1972 it was Avril Pringle followed by Bev Bollington in 1974 and Nola Ward in 1976.
What fun times these were, the whole department store got behind the festival and the entrants.
Our events centred around music, food and dance, with fond memories of Reggy Skewes belting out tunes on the squeezebox.
I then had a break while I raised my children, but the fun and excitement lured me back into the fold in 1996 while I was co-ordinator of Leeton On The Move with Antoinette Demarzo agreeing to join the quest.
In 1998 we raised funds for Emily Goodall under the banner of Light Up Leeton, and in 2000 we persuaded Krystal Maytom to put up her hand. Antoinette Ciccia was our candidate in 2002 under the banner of the Leeton Chamber of Commerce.
After another spell, I lent a hand to Natalie Weekes in 2010 representing Murrami Country Women's Association.
Next, we were "encouraged" by Carl King to put forward a succession of ambassadors and, with the support of the Light Up Leeton committee, we helped raise funds for Leanne Thrift, Emma Reneker and Hannah Fitzsimon.
In 2018 we supported Jay Bloomfield sponsored by the Leeton Soldiers Club.
The memories flow and I am so grateful for John Knight, Kevin Bush and Doug Pascoe who had the foresight to lay the foundations for future festivals which we all enjoy today.
This was then carried forth by future festival directors and their committees. Mammoth job.
Special thanks goes to the Leeton Family and Local Historical Society.
They are all volunteers who took the time to source the photos and information to produce this excellent local publication.
"One purpose of our life is to leave our communities a better place then we find it". John Knight (the first director of the Rice Bowl Festival 1970).