Market's 40 years a source of pride

THE secret of the success of the Murrabit Country Market is a community working as one.

Born out of desperate times in the Murray River farming district 40 years ago, the market has become one of the best known in the country.

It has helped finance many local initiatives and projects and has given stall-holders an important business outlet.

State Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh said that the strength of the market was "community".

"It involves the whole community, which comes together every month to share its resources," he said.

"You started this 40 years ago and you were clever enough to involve the next generation, to include the young ones. When you have the 60th anniversary, it will be the (school) children here today who will most likely be running it."

Gannawarra mayor, Cr Brian Gibson said that he always experienced something new when he visited the market and there was always a welcoming feel.

"The market brings people and outside money into our shire," he said.

"It's community-based. Without you, the community, it wouldn't operate.

"You have set a standard in community co-operation and because of that, you continue to grow."

Organising committee member, Narelle O'Donoghue said that Murrabit took great pride in its achievements.

The market commenced in 1977 with 19 stalls gathered in front of the Murrabit Hall. It was originally designed to provide a market outlet for cottage crafts and produce.

It is held on the first Saturday of each month - "rain, hail or shine" – with the major floods in 2011 forcing the abandonment of one market.

An extra market is held on Easter Saturday.

The Murrabit Market attracts thousands of visitors to the area to patronise more than 200 stalls at the market with fruit and vegetables, local hand crafts, plants, tools, clothes, shoes and hardware.

"We have passion, enthusiasm and community spirit," Mrs O'Donoghue said.

"We work together month after month, year after year with a great deal of pride in what we can do."

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