49th Annual Shell Show – 9-10th July

Next week, the Keppel Bay Shell Club will hold its 49th annual shell show at the Gus Moore Pavilion in the Yeppoon Show Grounds on Saturday 9th July, from 8am until 4.30pm and Sunday 10th  July, from 9am until 3pm.

Overseas, interstate and local collectors will be competing in a variety of sections with very high quality shells.  Educational and scientific aspects  will be apparent, with shells from all over the world.  Visitors will be impressed by the dealers with stalls of shells for sale and other stalls and light refreshment.  Everyone is welcome to come see the wonderful, natural beauties from the sea.

Admission Adults  $2, Children 50c., Families $5.00.  For further information contact Shell World (entry via the Yeppoon Visitor Information Centre) between 9am and 5pm on 4925 0085.

Shell Show History (as told by Stella Coucom, daughter of Founder and Patron, Ena Coucom)

In 1967, the Keppel Bay Shell Club decided to hold an international Shell Convention and the first Shell Show, in the Yeppoon Town Hall, when it was quite new.  With the help of the Sydney Shell Club, we advertised world wide, which bought about amazing results.  There were hundreds of visitors from interstate, and overseas countries as well as our local collectors.  The official opening of the Convention was performed by the then Premier of Queensland, Mr. Nicklin!.

The two days of the Shell Show was supplemented with arranged shell collecting expeditions, which included  at least one to the Great Barrier Reef.  Our organisational skills were tested to the very limits.  It was the highlight of many visitors lives to be able to experience shell collecting in such exciting, world renowned areas and all were extremely happy with the outcome of the trips, to the extent of many wanting to know when the next trips and Shell Convention was to be.

The second was to be held in 1970. Soon after this successful event was ended, preparations for the shell show the following year, started, and the amount of work needed to organise one, even now, means this trend continues. One ends and we get ready for the next one.

After the first convention and shell show it was decided to hold Shell Shows annually at the Town Hall and in 1970 the Club held the second World Convention and Shell Show, which because of the extreme work load on the local club members , was also the last convention.   An annual shell show was definitely the way to go ahead. In 1971 a club house was purchased and after a few years and lots of working bees, it eventually became our venue for Shell Shows. Many trays of beautiful, rare and unusual shells were displayed on the tables inside and  there were tents erected outside on the lawn for the dealers and stall holders and it was often a feature of  these shows for it to rain.

Each Shell Show has seen the return of collectors, dealers and enthusiasts from places like New Zealand, America, Singapore and New Caledonia and all of our Australian states.  It is like a annual family reunion.  The common denominator is of course the love of shells.

We have all made many firm friends over the years and look forward to seeing them all.  Each year there seems to be new shells introduced  to the collectors by dealers and such ,and the excitement never dwindles.  The high quality of the exhibits has been maintained over the years and are a wonder to see. In 1991 our Club was selected by the Conchologists of America, to award the COA award to an entry which most furthers the interest in shell collecting and inspires new collectors. We are still presenting this prestigious  award each year and the recipient  received a badge and plaque. The first was won by our long-standing member, Jean Offord.

This year is to be the 49th Shell Show and the same hard working locals are still doing a magnificent job putting it all together.  After the judging of sections on Friday night, the opening to the public on Saturday and everyone catching up with each other. Saturday night has been set aside for a dinner at Krackers Restaurant for a bit of relaxation and entertainment. A photographic representation of the trophy and certificate of the places achieved is given to the winner. Sunday we have a “sell, swap and buy” outside under the marque, there are lots of heads in boxes for a few hours.  During the Shell Show there are light refreshments, craft stalls, second hand shell books available and of course shells.

We will be planning for our 50th Shell Show next year.

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