News from Springsure14 March, 2023
Springsure’s St Patrick’s Day Race Club celebrates 70 years of racing!
Springsure’s St Patrick’s Day Race Club celebrated its 70th annual race meeting on 11th March – without any horses! Due to significant rainfall in the days preceding the event, the track was deemed unfit for racing but a phantom meeting still went ahead. More than 600 patrons enjoyed a great day of fun, music and fashions, including a hotly-contested separate category representing a 1950’s ensemble.
The St Patrick’s Day Race Club held its first race meeting in 1950 after Fr McCarthy, Derm O’Donohue, Frank Priddle and Henry Dendle designed the event to boost the funds of the parish. According to local legend, it was all worked out on the bonnet of a car! For many years, a St Patrick’s Day Ball was held on the evening before the races and St Patrick’s Day Concerts were also conducted by the Sisters of Mercy with the children from the school.
At this year’s event, the Priddle family held a wonderful family reunion. Many racewear ensembles worn through the years by Mrs Doreen Priddle were also on display. Members of the Priddle family joined with members of the Dendle and O’Donohue families along with current President, Terry Hoare and Fr Francois in cutting the anniversary cake.
Today, the money raised from the race meeting still supports Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic School, along with other local charities. The efforts of all volunteers from the parish and school are sincerely appreciated for their hard work before, during and after the event.
From these humble beginnings, the race meeting has become a highlight of the Springsure social calendar drawing patrons and punters from throughout the Central Highlands and beyond. Under Racing Queensland regulations another race meeting is required to be held – with horses this time, we expect – on Sunday, 18th June but we anticipate it will be a much quieter affair!