His official duties involve a lot of crying in public, but Toowoomba Region Town Crier Kevin Howarth is laughing loudly too, following his stellar efforts at the recent Australian and world Town Crier titles at Echuca-Moama. Mr Howarth won two titles and was awarded three second places at the Australian Guild Town Criers’ 30th anniversary championships at the twin towns on the Murray River.
He capped his trip south by recording an ear-splitting 101.7 decibel cry, similar in volume to a helicopter or chainsaw, to win the loudest cry in the world title at the World Invitational Town Crier tournament. Mr Howarth finished fourth in the overall world competition, behind the winner from the United States (Richard Riddell from Washington State) and two Canadians (Chris Whyman and Daniel Dit LaFleche). Few who have heard Mr Howarth at civic events across the region would doubt his enthusiasm and his ability to dial up the volume at will. He said these traits and a strict regime to protect his vocal cords paid handsome dividends at Echuca-Moama.
“I was especially proud to represent the Toowoomba Region and ventured south eager to compete against some of the most experienced and wily Town Criers in the country and the world,” Mr Howarth said at a respectable 50 decibels. “I loved seeing the calibre of the criers’ uniforms, especially the Indigenous Canadian costume which was a showstopper. The American winner, Richard Riddell, is a trained opera and theatrical singer, who produced a few party tricks reciting his Oyezs to the tune of The Star Spangled Banner. That certainly attracted a fair bit of attention,” he said.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio congratulated Mr Howarth for his fine achievements. Toowoomba Regional Council Tourism and Events portfolio leader Cr Geoff McDonald said Mr Howarth’s award-winning efforts were most praiseworthy. “Mr Howarth is a fine ambassador for the region who certainly embodies our rich traditions and bold ambitions in a unique and compelling manner,” Cr McDonald said.
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