Town Crier to compete in World Championships

This year marks Mr Stephen Clarke’s 25th as the Gosford Town Crier and he is hoping to top off the anniversary by winning the World Town Crier Tournament in Central Otago, New Zealand in September.

The tournament runs from 24 to 30 September and coincides with the Alexandra Blossom Festival, the longest running festival in New Zealand. Mr Clarke will be one of 25 Town Crier’s competing for the title from England, Wales, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand. The host Crier is PaddyAnn Pemberton from Central Otago District Council.

The competition will be held under the authority of the Honourable Guild of Town Criers of New Zealand. During the competition, each Crier will perform three cries, each between 100-125 words, including a hometown cry (why Gosford is so special),a sponsor’s cry (Mr Clarke has drawn a supermarket chain), and a themed cry (the gold fields of Central Otago give the area it’s rich history).

“I have chosen the Gold cry to highlight the 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli, so this will be a dramatic cry beginning and ending with the bugle,” Mr Clarke said. “There will be media attending and I will be working as an ambassador promoting the Central Coast and distributing copies of the 2015 offi cial Central Coast Visitors’ Guide,” he said.

Each crier will be judged on their vocal proficiency, confidence and bearing, audience engagement, content of the cry and accuracy. “As part of the championships, the criers will also be performing at a concert and attending a mayoral reception,” he said.

“I will be presenting a letter and a special gift to Central Otago mayor Tony Lepper from our mayor Cr Lawrie McKinna,” he said. Mr Clarke will also be visiting schools and retirement villages, mixing and mingling in parks plus doing a mass cry on stage at the Alexandra Blossom Festival. In 1990 he was appointed as the city of Gosford’s offi cial town crier.

His official jobs include assisting the mayor with citizenship ceremonies, leading street parades, greeting VIP’s and special visitors to the city as well as compering community and charity events. Prior to performing his town cry, he plays a fanfare on the bugle, which is signifi cant because at the top of the Gosford coat of arms, a cockerel is standing on a bugle.

In 2005, at Maryborough, Queensland Stephen came 3rd in the World Town Crying Championships competing against 65 Town Criers and in 2012, he won the Australian Town Crying Championships at Moree.

Stephen also competed at the 23rd National Town Criers Championships held in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, in 2013, where he won first place in the Champion of Champions. This coveted title is the highest award you can receive at the National Championships.

Email, 24 Aug 2015
Stephen Clarke, City of
Gosford Town Crier