Celebrating 20 years of pink

Weengallon's lasting legacy


Life & Style
The women and men behind Weengallon Pink Ladies Day have hung up their aprons for the last time. Picture: Rachel Walker Photography

The women and men behind Weengallon Pink Ladies Day have hung up their aprons for the last time. Picture: Rachel Walker Photography

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Weengallon Pink Ladies Day has been described as a "a spot of magic for one day".

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It's a day that must be experienced to be believed.

And one that is hard to describe to those who have never had the pleasure of attending, but MC Sally Rigney summed it up best last Wednesday when she said Weengallon Pink Ladies Day was "a spot of magic for one day".

Donning their aprons for the last time in 2019, the Pink Ladies who made it all possible were determined to mark the end of an era the best they knew how - with champagne and pink.

Almost 1000 women gathered to say cheers to 20 years, celebrating an event that has raised almost $1 million to support breast cancer research and patients.

What started out as a kindy fundraiser for cleaning products in 2000, has grown to be one of the most glamorous charity days in the bush.

In that first year, ladies of the district were invited to play tennis, shop at a few stalls and have morning tea and lunch. Strains of that humble beginning were still evident at their final day, with ladies enjoying a glamorous lunch and more than 40 stallholders.

An original kindy mum and still on the WPLD committee today, Melissa Southern, Pinevale, Weengallon, said she never expected that tennis day 20 years ago to become what it has.

"I rang up all these schools and asked them to put a note in their school newsletter saying it was on. We had five RSVP's and 70 people turned up," Mrs Southern said.

WPLD coordinator Emma Montgomery said the committee went into overdrive to make their 20th year a day to remember. "We wanted to really celebrate our day in the red dirt country that has brought such joy, inspiration and support to so many," she said.

Mrs Montgomery said it was a perfect end to a wild, wonderful, robust ride.

"The committee decided the 20th anniversary was a good time to bring the fundraiser to a close.

"That's the last Weengallon as we know it, but there is the chance it may return later in an altered format.

"We've been tickled pink by our success over the years and we couldn't have done it without our loyal guests, our amazing sponsors, or our committee of volunteers who invested so much time and energy into creating something magical."

Husband play an integral role: Michael Pegler, Geoff Phillips, Ian Rigney, Col Mitchell, Allan Rae and Bill Montgomery. Picture: Dust to Dawn Photography.

Husband play an integral role: Michael Pegler, Geoff Phillips, Ian Rigney, Col Mitchell, Allan Rae and Bill Montgomery. Picture: Dust to Dawn Photography.

Even if this is the last time a swarm of ladies descend upon the small south-west Queensland town, there's no doubt Weengallon Pink Ladies Day has a strong legacy.

Funds raised throughout the years have seen the employment of Breast Cancer Nurses in St George and Goondiwindi, the provision of free accommodation for cancer patients through the Olive McMahon Lodge, as well as funding Breast and Prostate Cancer Association of Queensland grants for local patients.

Mrs Montgomery said the committee was proud of the achievement of employing these breast care nurses, who offer unwavering support to women fighting the disease.

"They are incredibly important to have as a point of contact to be able to access advice, check wounds and just someone to talk to who knows exactly what is going on rather than having to travel all the way to the bigger centres to access that," Mrs Montgomery said.

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