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Maryborough Crier competes on national stage

11 September 2019

Maryborough Town Crier, Ken Ashford, will put his vocals to the test when he takes centre stage at the 30th Australian Championships of the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Australian Town Criers, being held over 10 days next month from October 12.

Echuca and Moama on either side of the Murray River on the NSW-Victorian border will host the championships for 12 criers representing councils from around Australia and 12 International competitors.

Ken Ashford 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. He is yet to take the top going but is quietly confident this year.

Ken said “the event is a great way of meeting other Town Criers and the rare chance to network.

“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.”

Tournament judges rank each cry on content, inflexion of voice, controlled breathing and posture as well choreography.

Ken 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 be escorting Ken as an official attendant at the championships and Ken’s wife Judy will also take her place on stage during the event.

Ken will wear recently purchased new red regalia for the first time at the championships