The future of the Killarney Recreation Club is in doubt if more volunteers do not sign up at its annual general meeting on Thursday, May 9. Pictured: Keith Grayson and John Towells.
The future of the Killarney Recreation Club is in doubt if more volunteers do not sign up at its annual general meeting on Thursday, May 9. Pictured: Keith Grayson and John Towells. Michael Nolan

Got great barbecue skills? Killarney needs your help

IN THE 20 years he's manned the barbecue at the Killarney Trail Ride, Keith Grayson has cooked more than 34,000 steaks, 16,000 chicken burgers and about 1300kg of bacon.

But he will hang up his tongs next year and is keen to find someone to take his place.

"I thought 20 barbecues might have been enough," Mr Grayson said.

The trail ride attracts hundreds of competitors and a horde of eager spectators, making it one of the largest events in Killarney.

It started two decades ago to raise money for the Killarney Recreation Club and the Killarney State School.

Along with being a founding volunteer for the trail ride, Mr Grayson was one of the initial members of the rec club.

"I was president of the P&C at the time and there was always a lot of talk about building a gym at the school, so we held a town meeting," he said.

"The feeling of the meeting was we needed something that the town owned, rather than the school."

The rec club formed in the weeks that followed the meeting.

It is an amalgamation of the football, tennis, golf, pony and polocrosse clubs as well as the Killarney State School P&C and the Killarney Show Society.

Over the years it built a function venue, a gymnasium, tennis court and the footy fields but declining sport membership has seen a lot of those facilitates sit dormant.

Of the original 15 founding members, only five remain, including Mr Grayson.

He has no plans to quit the club but needs new members to help with events.

There are fears the club will not have enough people to run the immensely profitable trail ride barbecue next year.

"The thing is, we built this for our kids and grandkids, but they are not around anymore."

"There are no tennis clubs and they stopped playing footy here about two years ago."

"There is a big shortage of new people coming through."

Despite the dwindling numbers the club has plenty of cash in the bank and its signature event, the trail ride, continues to grow.

The rec club will hold an annual general meeting at its building on Willow St, Thursday at 6pm.

All are welcome.



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