The 2023 Catholic Debutante Ball was held last Friday with 24 debs and their partners taking part.

After seven weeks of preparation, participants were ready to take the Town Hall stage for the 129th Catholic debutante ball in Gunnedah.

The debutantes were presented to Vicar General of the Armidale Diocese, Monsignor Ted Wilkes, and Fr Abmar Dumayag Parish Priest of St Joseph’s.

This parish event allows the Catholic school’s P & F to run the ball as a fund-raiser and money raised is donated back into St Xavier’s Primary School and St Mary’s College.

The debutantes and partners danced to Dandelions by Ruth B, I Loved Her First by Heartland and Me Too by Meghan Trainor for the audience of about 300.

Local dance teacher, Michelle Cobb, choreographed each dance. This was her first year organising dances for the debutantes, however, she had previously been involved in choreography for the flower girl and page boy.

Flower girl Rae Shorter and page boy Archie Bergholcs.

President of Gunnedah’s Combined Catholic Schools’ P & F, Megan Ellbourn, was pleased with the number of participants this year.

“We had so many girls wanting to be involved this year,” she said.

“It’s one of the biggest groups we’ve had. It really makes you realise how small the Town Hall is when you try to fit 48 teenagers on the dance floor.

“It’s great to see that the tradition keeps on continuing with the younger generation.”

Malcolm Frend was the master-of -ceremonies for the evening.

The charming flower girl was Rae Shorter accompanied by page boy Archie Bergholcs.

Megan Ellbourn commended the hard work of vice-president Rachael Duff, secretary Casey Frend, treasurer Alisha Kelly, and additional volunteers from the community.

“We would not have been able to put on a night like tonight without these people from the community because it is a massive undertaking,” she said.

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