ALBURY Wodonga Eisteddfod honours the past but looks to the future as it plans for 2017.
The organising committee has farewelled two experienced volunteers from the annual showcase of dance, drama, debating and music.
Val Edmunds, previously the speech and drama co-ordinator, and former chairman and debating co-ordinator Linda Martin have retired.
Mrs Edmunds, a Border and North East drama teacher for more than six decades, served for 34 years, helping to revive the eisteddfod as a four-day festival in 1982.
Next year the event will comprise 17 days of competition over the various disciplines.
“The kids love it,” Mrs Edmunds said.
“They really do, they live for the eisteddfod.”
The drama stalwart said she would miss being involved in the committee.
“But I’ll be at the eisteddfod all the time because I’ve still got pupils entering,” she said.
Miss Martin, in her annual report, said 2016 saw a 10 per cent increase in eisteddfod entries. As well, more than 97 per cent of survey respondents said they would be attending the event again.
“Our guiding focus has been to do everything possible to enhance the talents, skills and enjoyment of our competitors,” Miss Martin said.
The Albury Wodonga Eisteddfod committee thanked Mrs Edmunds and Miss Martin for their contributions over the years.
At the annual general meeting, Deanne Burr became chairperson, with Mary Smith and Lana Salter to serve in the vice-chairperson role.
Ms Salter said the eisteddfod had become part of the Border’s cultural life and she hoped to see it grow.
“We need to be able to upskill lots of other people to come in and be part of it,” she said.
“It’s been set up so well, it’s got wonderful people that have been involved for such a long time that I would hate to see it not be around for the next generation of Broadway stars.”
Two committee positions, treasurer and debating co-ordinator, remain vacant.
“Without a debating co-ordinator in 2017, this section will not run,” the committee said.
Anyone wanting to contribute to the eisteddfod should email firstname.lastname@example.org.