Show secretary and chairman bow out on a high

IF Tyrone Farming Society Secretary Edwin Cartwright and Chairman Thomas Harkin were hoping to bow out on a high then they were certainly granted their wish at Omagh Show on Saturday.
The day marked the end of the road for both leading officials. It was the last show for Mr Cartwright after 15 years in the demanding role of secretary while for Mr Harkin it brought to an end his three-year tenure as chairman.
A record crowd flocked to local farming’s annual extravanganza and under bright blue skies and wall-to-wall sunshine show day produced many highlights for young and old alike.
It was a fitting send-off for both men, in particular, the secretary who has served the Society with such distinction for the past decade and half. As the curtain came down on his 16th show in charge, Mr Cartwright was in reflective mood.
“Today was as good a show as we have had for quite a few years but we were blessed with the weather,” he said.
“There was a good crowd and the atmosphere was tremendous.
“I started in 2004 and to be honest looking back it’s been everything, challenging, rewarding, saytisfying.
“In that time there have been a lot of changes in how we do things. When I started emails were almost unheard off, now that’s the way you do it.
“Phone calls are unheard of now, it’s all social media. As far as technology goes, there has been a lot of change.
“This year was the first year for on-line entries and that has brought a few teething problems, but overall it was successful. Presumably over the next few years it will be built on to become totally paper free. Hopefully that will mean less work.
“It’s been a fairly full-time role as secretary, some people might think different but if they worked here for a month they might change their mind.
“I have made a lot of friends, got to know a lot of people during my time as secretary. There always comes a time to move on and my time has come.”
Chairman Harkin paid tribute to the departing secretary at this year’s show launch in the Silverbirch Hotel last month and acknowledged the key role he again played as part of the Society team behind delivering yet another successful event.
Mr Harkin, who will be handing over his chain of office at the end of the year, was delighted with the 2019 production.
“In my eyes it has been the most successful show during my three years in charge,” he said.
“All in all a great show and I never seen as many committee members in as good a form. Well done to everyone, everbody put their shoulder to the wheel. 
“For me it’s an ideal way to sign off. I really enjoyed my three years, there’s plenty of work to do mind you. I always say and I’ll tell the vice-chairman that if the enthusiasm is there it doesn’t matter what is in front of you.”

A NEW practice showjumping arena has been completed on schedule in preparation for this year’s Omagh Show.

Thousands of people flocked to the revamped two-day Omagh Show held at the Drumquin Road showgrounds over the weekend.


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