Benge family wins 2018 Moree Christmas Light Competition

The Benge family’s impressive Christmas lights managed to win over the Moree community this year, with their Broadwater Place display taking out the 2018 Moree Christmas Light Competition.

Lloyd and Edna Benge of Broadwater Place were announced as the winners of the 2018 competition via the Moree Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Facebook group earlier this week.

The couple received a total of 216 votes to take out the $200 first place voucher.

Lloyd and Edna were overwhelmed with the huge response to their display. Lloyd told Moree Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Facebook group administrator Tanya Fitch that he and his wife had wonderful help from all of their family.

“It was truly a family effort,” he said.

Unfortunately Edna suffered a fall over the Christmas period and was hospitalised, however her daughter Kylie said that upon hearing the news that the family had won the competition, it had lifted her mum’s spirits tremendously and she was delighted that their hard work and effort was appreciated by the Moree community.

The previous year's winner Wayne Tucker picked up the second place $150 voucher for his festive Hassell Street display, while the $50 third place prize went to Richard and Tracey Wells for their beautiful Gwydirville display.

Mr Tucker, who has been putting up Christmas lights for more than 25 years, said he enjoys trying to come up with something new to add each year.

“We all get a kick out of hearing the children sing along to the music that the light show is synchronized to,” he said. 

“I look forward to trying to add something to my show this year and hope many other families may be inspired to throw even a few strings of lights up and help add to the Christmas spirit.

“A big congratulations to the Benge family for the great light show they put together and an equally big congratulations to Tracey and Richard Wells as they always have a great display every year.”

Tracey Wells said that she and her husband Richard would like to thank everyone who voted for their light display.

“We have been displaying our lights for 28 years,” she said.

“We first started when our daughter was born, but now we do it for our grandson. It has been a hard year for everyone, so if it helps brings smiles to people’s faces than it is well worth the effort.”

This is the third year that the Moree Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Facebook group has hosted the town Christmas light competition, sponsored by Moree Plains Shire Council.

There were officially nine entries in this year’s competition with close to 800 votes cast by members of the Moree community.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Facebook group admin Tanya Fitch thanked Moree Plains Shire Council for their ongoing support of the competition, as well as the other entrants, Daniel and Emma West, Lyn and Roz Zillman, Mark Rollison, Ty O’Brien, the Litchfield family and the Yeatman family for their “amazing” displays.

“I also would like to thank the members of the public that took the time to vote,” she said. 

“It is wonderful to see the efforts and the stunning light displays that locals put up during the festive season.

“I know it was hectic and stressful for many people who had lights with several severe thunderstorms occurring prior to the lead up to Christmas.

“The feedback I have had from people who entered and voted has been marvellous. Hopefully next year we will have more entries to help celebrate the spirit of Christmas and showcase the extraordinary efforts people go to with their displays.”