Retiring the trophy as curtain closes

GLADSTONE'S Ros Tooker is ready to relax after dedicating eight years as the volunteer trophy coordinator at the Gladstone City Eisteddfod.

As the curtain closes on the 2010 eisteddfod tonight Mrs Tooker is preparing to relinquish her role and is looking forward to “going home and putting my feet up”.

Involved with the eisteddfod for about 20 years, initially through her children's participation, Mrs Tooker found her piano skills in need.

After not playing the piano for two decades she became a regular face on the eisteddfod stage; in one year providing piano accompaniment for about 150 instrumental performers.

“I joined the eisteddfod committee about 12 years ago. The eisteddfod gives quite a lot to children – it gives them the opportunity to perform on stage and I felt I could give something back,” Mrs Tooker said.

This year Mrs Tooker was in charge of more than 150 perpetual trophies; about 10 more than when she first took on the task.

She said her role, a solid two months work, involved locating and collecting trophies ensuring they were in good condition.

Most days Mrs Tooker was at the eisteddfod to ensure trophies were organised and ready to be presented. She said while her duty amounted to a lot of hours, the effort was rewarding.

“Kids love to get trophies and it's great to see the smile on their faces when they see the trophy.”

As of tonight she will pass on the trophy convenor role and cease piano accompaniment but will continue as a committee member with more time to spend with her family.

Hailing from England originally, Mrs Tooker moved to Australia with her husband more than 35 years ago.

She said back then the decision of where to move to Down Under was easy with the pair opening a book to look for the town with the most hours of sunshine and the least of rain. Perth topped the list but later Tasmania stole them away.

“We came to Gladstone in 1980, and coming from Tasmania, arriving in Gladstone was like coming to a desert,” Mrs Tooker recalled.

“We hadn't been interested in staying that long – but we have.”

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