In one of the South Australia's most enduring corporate partnerships, People’s Choice Credit Union, Beyond Bank Australia, Credit Union SA and Police Credit Union will celebrate almost a quarter of a century of involvement in South Australia’s most iconic community event, as they say goodbye to the Christmas Pageant after a remarkable 23 year partnership.
Over 23 years of joy, magic, happiness and kindness, the credit unions have contributed so much to the Pageant, and touched the hearts of so many South Australians. Thousands of staff from the four credit unions have been involved in the Pageant, and each has a very special story to tell from their time in the Pageant.
As we say goodbye to the credit unions, we'll be taking a closer look at the stories of some of these people who have helped to bring the Pageant to life every year. There are some incredible stories, so make sure to check back in every week as we introduce some very special people from each of the four credit unions.
These are The Pageant People.
"My first Pageant was 21 years ago. Taking that turn onto King William St is amazing. The whistle blows and around you go, and it takes your breath away.
There really is a little bit of magic.
My favourite was Storybook, and I was little Miss Muffet. I had a big hairy spider under my dress that I could pull out and scare all of the little boys with that were squirting me with water guns."
(Tracey Vinall, Beyond Bank)
I have 3 children who've all grown up with the Pageant. This is my 18th year, and they've been in it all those 18 years as well. I'm a police officer by occupation, and 2 of my children are police officers. So it's a family business - policing, and the Pageant.
Now we have grandkids, and they come and watch as well now.
(Mick Fisher, Police Credit Union)
"I've done about 14 Pageants since 2003. I was a Pageant Royal one year, and got to go around to the Berri with the Royals and meet the kids at schools out there. That was a wonderful time.
When I'm in the Pageant, every now and then the kids will yell out 'can you do a…' and you might have to do a move or dance that's relevant at the time.
This year I might have to floss. I've nailed it already."
(Glenn Lewis, Police Credit Union)
"I've been in the Pageant since 2016 as a clown, so this one will be different being a Princess! The most important thing about being a Royal for me is going to the Women's and Children's hospitality after the Pageant, that will be a massive highlight.
It's great to be a clown, you get to interact with the audience and just be silly. What I love doing is pulling off the parent's hats if they're looking down at their phones. The kids love it, they think it's the funniest thing."
(Julia Blanka, Police Credit Union)
"I’ve been doing the Pageant for over 30 years.
Over the years it's evolved with the different floats, but really it's the same.
It's magical, you can lose yourself.
Last year when I was on Fergus the Fire Engine, he broke down. Father Christmas went past and we were waving still, but they got him started again. So I'm one of the few people ever to close the Pageant and not be Father Christmas."
(Krys Kowal, Police Credit Union)
"I used to go when I was a kid, and now to get the opportunity to be in it as a clown, it's hard work, but very fun.
I forgot my wig last year, so I might have looked a bit terrifying with my beard and then the clown makeup. I think I might have given a few kids life long clown phobias, but it's good fun though.
This year I'm a clown again, so I think I'll just let the prop drive what I do."
(Charles Burke, Credit Union SA)
"Seeing the craftsmanship of the floats and the costumes up close is an incredible experience. But the best part of the day is the sense of community when you arrive: the behind the scenes of just how many people are involved, that aren't actually in the Pageant and in costume.
There's so many people that don't get to be in the spotlight, but they're making it all happen. It's part of the magic."
(Emma Arnold, Credit Union SA)