The year was 2004 – blockbuster film Shrek 2 was the highest grossing film of the year and R&B artist Usher was top of the pops in the music charts.

Meanwhile in Gunnedah, organisers were toasting 32 years of AgQuip in 2004.

The event was described at the time as “Australia’s largest rural supermarket” as the “leader in agricultural field day marketing” and also “the place for anyone interested in rural Australia”.

“There’s always something new at AgQuip which boasts everything from the biggest tractor to the smallest microchip,” local media reported.

“AgQuip is ‘the meeting place’ for rural Australia and for many, AgQuip is the event that brings them up to date with the latest releases and trends on agriculture.”

A regular part of the AgQuip calendar has been the annual billy boiling competition.

The 2004 news coverage described how locals and visitors would have the chance to battle it out for the title of The Roy Jaeger Memorial Billy Boiling Champion at The Railway Hotel, Gunnedah.

The event was founded in 1980. The ‘big boil-off’ started off as a bit of a joke over a cold beer between mates many, many years ago it has developed into a deadly serious, no-holds barred contest to find the fastest male and female billy-boilers.

The Roy Jaeger Memorial is named after one of the instigators of the event, the late Roy Jaeger a multiple-time winner of the title.

He, or she, who brings the billy to the boil first, is the winner.

The 2023 competition will also serve as the Australian title event, meaning national honours are on the line for the fastest boilers.

This year’s event will feature $1000 in prizemoney across the respective billy boiling divisions.

The annual Billy Boiling will be held on Tuesday evening at the Railway Hotel.

To order photos from this page click here