Tuesday, July 2, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

St Mary’s Debutante Ball

On Saturday, 22nd June, Bowen's McKenna Hall was transformed by dozens of beautiful white dresses, gloves, heels and corsages. Here, gathered 14 debutantes for the St Mary’s Catholic Parish Debutante Ball in Bowen, where the ladies were ‘formally introduced’ into society.
The ladies and their partners arrived from St Mary’s Church, in a school bus, to the winter wonderland themed evening, that was decorated with snowflakes, balloons and fairy lights.
The ladies spend weeks preparing for the event, including, learning and practising their dances for the evening (taught by local volunteers), searching for their gowns and getting their hair and makeup done.
Federal member for Dawson, Andrew Wilcox was in attendance and commented that everyone looked “absolutely stunning”.
“Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing this wonderful occasion together from the team of volunteers who provided dance lessons to the decorators of the hall and everything in between. And, of course, to the mums and dads and carers who encouraged and organised their young people to be part of this very special, age-old tradition.”
The night included presentations and a formal dance program in front of an audience of 150 family, friends and community members. There was also a speech from Sister Judith Foster from Townsville, a live band called ‘Hot, Hot, Hot’ from Mackay and a light supper for everyone to enjoy.
The event has been held uninterrupted for over 90 years and is Queensland’s longest consecutively run debutante ball.
Organiser of the Debutante Ball, Raynee Bidgood, said that the evening was “lovely”.
“Everyone enjoyed themselves, the debs had a great time and that's what matters”.

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