Brian Marhiene was looking forward to cutting the cake at Maitland Show's 160th anniversary dinner, but it was not to be.
COVID-19 halted the dinner in its tracks last year, and Mr Marhiene died a few months ago, so his sister Wendy Williams and brother-in-law David Williams represented him at the event on May 14.
They were joined by 63 people in the McDonald Pavilion underneath the grandstand who were keen to celebrate the milestone.
Mr Marhiene is being remembered as one of the best presidents Maitland Show has ever had. His role in securing the grandstand's restoration is one of a long list of achievements.
"They always talk about him as being one of the best presidents that we've ever had so it was nice that his sister Wendy could be there to cut the cake on his behalf," Maitland Showground manager Brett Gleeson said.
"He was very committed. He was instrumental in the restoration of the grandstand and it was named after him.
"He was the president from 1984 to 1987 and again from 1993 to 1997."
Mr Gleeson spoke about the history of the show onstage before Ms Enright and Mrs Williams cut the cake.
"I did a 20 minute presentation on the timeline of the organisation, starting right back in 1840 and moving through the years. I spoke about some of the achievements we have had over that time," he said.
"[Paterson MP] Meryl Swanson also spoke in her speech about the role of women in the show, which was a great addition as well."
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