Boomtown shows how much Gladstone has to offer

MIPEC boats star in Boomtown at the Gladstone Marina. Photo: Craig Chapman
MIPEC boats star in Boomtown at the Gladstone Marina. Photo: Craig Chapman Craig Chapman

THE storyline told it all. It brought back so many memories of two-and-a-half years ago when my family and I arrived in Gladstone.

I was cool. I had a job to go to. For my wife and then 16-year-old daughter it was a different story.

They had to seek new opportunities. It was especially tough for my daughter as she had left a solid group of friends back in New Zealand and arrived at Gladstone State High School in tears, not knowing a soul.

And for my wife the job-seeking was not the easiest either.

So I related quite well to the storyline in Boomtown, Gladstone's remarkable inclusion in this year's Queensland Music Festival.

Young George was pretty much like my daughter was, and there was dad saying, "It'll be all right".

And so it has been for us. We expect to be here for about another 18 months and at this stage it looks pretty certain that our return to the lure of family in New Zealand will not include our now 18-year-old daughter, who will most likely stay in Oz.

Back to the show.

What a tremendous achievement. To put on such a spectacle in Gladstone shows that this city has a huge amount to offer.

My show highlight? The very, very clever skippers who directed their tugboats in meticulous unison as they played out their ballet. That in itself was worth more than money could buy.

I was amazed at the accuracy of those two vessels as they danced their way at the marina entrance.

It was a shame that the tugs' crews could probably not hear the applause from the 5000-odd people who watched in awe.

I recall someone telling me early on in the piece that this show was far bigger than the marina stage - it certainly was and it covered the widest possible range of cultural talent that Gladstone has to offer.

That it was free was a bonus. I would willingly have paid money to have such an enjoyable evening out under the stars.

Let's hope young George learns soon. Gladstone is a place that grows on you - that one comes to appreciate, and for some it's hard to leave. It's got everything one could want in a decent place to live.