Tradition, modernity come together

TRADITION and modernity came together in spectacular fashion at the second annual Water Wonderland Debutante Ball on Saturday night. 

Five young women and their partners took part in the ball, which saw the Kerang Memorial Hall filled to capacity with friends and family.

To a backdrop from the film Grease, the couples were presented to the official party of Barapa Barapa Elder, Aunty Esther Kirby and local Scout leader, Carmel Tyers OAM.

They then put training into practice and completed three presentation dances, including the Rock and Rock Waltz, Merrilyn Schottische and Square Rumba. 

Debutantes joined their parents for the Pride of Erin, before completing a 'fun dance' to the music of Grease. 

Long-time ball co-ordinator, Joyce Gee said she again found herself again in awe of the community's young people. 

"Parents, you should be very proud of these young people; they are a brilliant asset to their families, the community and themselves," she said. 

Representing the debutante set, Cheyenne Widdison thanked Mrs Gee for her tireless work.

"You've put in so much time and dedication to organise the ball and make sure our night goes perfectly," she said. 

Miss Widdison praised her fellow debutantes for their efforts, saying great friendships had been forged during the months of preparations. 

"I have enjoyed spending tonight with you all and would like to say that you all look amazing," she said.

Ball emcee, Julie Smith also heaped praise on Mrs Gee, who has served as ball co-ordinator for 29 years and will step down in 2019. 

"The Waterwonderland Ball has been part of Kerang's social calendar for many years and Joyce has conducted every one, usually two each year with the support of family, friends and a succession of helpers," she said.

Mrs Gee in turn had her own words of praise for Mrs Smith, presenting her with life membership of the Water Wonderland Committee. 

Mrs Gee also made a special presentation to Chris and Paula Ellis, who were at the ball watching their son Rhys partner debutante Ange Gibson.

Nine of the couple's children have taken part in Water Wonderland balls, either as debutantes, partners or flower bearers. 

The proceeds from the night went to the Kerang Scouts.

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