Our Look Back – Perth Fair 2012!


What is it about a country fair that draws us in through its gates, again and again, with sights and sounds so familiar, and yet, the excitement and anticipation as fresh as our very first visit?

Is it the once-a-year scents of the cotton candy, the candy floss, and the Tiny Tom donuts drifting through the air along those well-worn paths?

Some enjoy the competition, and they may prepare all year to challenge others with their baking skills, their success in growing vegetables and flowers, or their excellence in raising livestock and field crops.


Maybe it’s the unforgettable magic as night falls on the hot late-summer day, to the bright lights and sounds of the midway. 


For some, it might be a visit to the commercial buildings, to check out the vendors, and discover some new gadgets or old favourites that we’ve grown to love over the years.

In 2012 we had a booth, set between a talented wood carver from Killaloe, and a girl named Josie, selling Watkins products. 

Many old friends and neighbours dropped by to say hello:  Art Perkins, our former next-door neighbour, Mavis (Jordan) Wollam, and her husband Rod, Lyle and June Conroy – Lyle, a long-time member of the Fair Board and June – who worked with Mother as a fair Judge in Homecraft for many years.  It was great to see so many faces from the Third Line – Janice (Jordan) Gordon and husband Randy Gordon,  Elaine Morrow, Sylvia ‘Sib’ Turnbull,  Trina and Sawyer, Wayne and Margery Conboy, and Susan Couch, along with newlyweds, Diana Conboy, and her husband.  It was a delight to chat with Wanda Murphy and her two beautiful daughters – who grew up in our former home on the Third Line.  A cousin, Peter Stafford, also stopped by to say ‘Hello’.

Margery Conboy was Winner of ‘Most Points in Baking’ in 2012!  Her tarts, cakes, many pies, cookies – all looked very tempting displayed in the Home Baking section of the Homecraft Building.

As the day wound down and the sun set we were treated to the sounds of Pembroke native, country artist Jason Blaine, among the dazzling lights of the midway and shrieks of excitement rom the rides.

So, what keeps the crowds coming back again and again to the local fairs? Perhaps it’s a longing to return to a more innocent time, when the world was a simple place, more predictable, and when there was a sense of pride in old traditions.

Maybe it’s a place where time stands still, and we can rediscover the young child who lives within us. As we step through those familiar gates each year, it’s our portal to the past, a trip back in time, a journey back to innocence and youth.  Perhaps that yearly time-travel we embark on is the best midway ride of all.


Arlene Stafford-Wilson


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