HEAR YE: Our criers compete for national title
MARYBOROUGH'S favourite ambassadors will shout out about their region when they attend the 30th Australian Championships of the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Australian Town Criers.
Ken Ashford aka Town Crier and Carmel Murdoch aka Mary Heritage will compete at the 10-day event held at Echuca and Moama on the NSW-Victorian border from October 12.
Mr Ashford will be one of 12 criers representing councils from around Australia and 12 international competitors at the championships.
"The event is a great way of meeting other Town Criers and the rare chance to network," he said.
"It is a great opportunity to represent and promote the Fraser Coast region and enlighten people of the interesting and beautiful attractions that we have."
He has competed in almost every national championship for the past 15 years as well as testing his vocals at the World Championships held in Maryborough in 2005.
"I have never won the championships but have won every category - loudest crier, best dressed, best scroll - in different years - never all together."
He is yet to take the top going but is quietly confident this year.
"Tournament judges rank each cry on content, inflexion of voice, controlled breathing and posture as well choreography."
He said the role of Town Crier was to welcome visitors on special occasions and "it is a great way of instilling pride in the locals and making them feel good".
Town Criers carry out ambassadorial and ceremonial roles at tourism and local events, including leading parades, Australia Day celebrations, new Citizenship ceremonies, fundraising and school talks.
Carmel Murdoch as Mary Heritage will escort our Town Crier as an official attendant at the championships and Ken's wife Judy will also take her place on stage during the event.
Mr Ashford will wear recently purchased new red regalia for the first time at the championships.