Rotarians from Rotary International and the local Rotary Clubs will be honoured guests at today’s opening of the Rodeo Hall of Fame in Mount Isa.
The Hall of Fame has been commissioned by the Isa Rodeo Committee to honour the hundreds of Rodeo and Rotarian participants and volunteers who have contributed to the Isa Rodeo since its establishment in 1959.
Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo Inc President Mr Darren Campi said: “The Isa Rodeo is an event that brings a significant amount of tourism, hospitality and goodwill to the Mount Isa region, with $1 million distributed by the rodeo to support the local Mount Isa and North West community over the past five years and almost $5 million since the Rodeo’s inception.”
The Hall of Fame’s official opening coincides with the start of this weekend’s 60th Anniversary Rodeo celebrations.
Mr Campi and Rotary District Governor Greg Marlow jointly paid special tribute to Rotarians and others who were being inducted as Rodeo Legends in the Rodeo Hall of Fame.
In a joint announcement, Mr Campi and Mr Marlow said that this year’s 60th Anniversary Rodeo would be the last rodeo to incorporate the Rotary name with the rodeo expected to become the “Mount Isa Mines Rodeo” in 2019.
Mr Marlow said that this change had been mutually agreed between MIRRI and Rotary following changes in Rotary International’s direction over recent years.
Mr Campi said: “MIRRI understands this change does not only apply to the Isa Rodeo, and that similar changes have occurred with other events in Australia and internationally, including with a number of the large North American rodeos such as Houston and Calgary, which had also originally started as Rotary events.”
He also paid tribute to Rotary International and the foresight of its founding Mount Isa Rotary Clubs who started the rodeo to put the fledgling town of Mount Isa on the map.
“They did it without a venue, without stock and without understanding rodeo but with the support of the town’s Rotarians, business and local communities,” said Mr Campi.
“Since that time, the Isa Rodeo has grown to become the largest and richest prize money rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere.
“The Isa Rodeo achieved State “Major Event” status in 2016 and has won Major awards at the Tourism Awards, including winning Gold at the 2017 Queensland Tourism Awards and Australian Tourism Awards (Gold in 2016 and Silver in 2017). These are major achievements, with the Isa Rodeo now attracting significant numbers of visitors to Mount Isa and the region from interstate and overseas.”
Mr Campi said the major difference would be the change of name (omitting `Rotary’ from the event name) but the not for profit commitment would continue with the event committed to fundraising and dispersing profits to local community organisations.
“Notwithstanding the change of name, the Isa Rodeo Committee looks forward to continuing to working closely with the community groups and volunteers, including Rotarians, for the collective good of the North West and Mount Isa Community,” he said.
The Isa Rodeo will celebrate its 60th Anniversary year in 2019, with the rodeo being held from 9 to 11 August, 2019.
The Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and promoted as part of the It’s Live! in Queensland event calendar.
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