Expletives and expulsions erupt in Queanbeyan Show Society committee meeting after semi-nude charity calendar

Expletives and expulsions have erupted in the Queanbeyan Show Society committee after two members appeared semi-nude in a charity calendar.

Former long-time president Michael Harriden was this month expelled from the committee, and his honorary life membership revoked, after a heated exchange at an August 6 meeting.

His wife Cherie and sister Kim Holden - who were 'November' girls with a mocked-up Show banner in the 'Women of Queanbeyan' calendar for charity Rise Above - were also expelled

The families have been Show volunteers for three generations.

Expelled: Cherie Harriden, left, and Kim Holden, third left, pose with volunteer colleagues for the 'Women of Queanbeyan' 2020 calendar. Photo courtesy Rosevear Photography

Expelled: Cherie Harriden, left, and Kim Holden, third left, pose with volunteer colleagues for the 'Women of Queanbeyan' 2020 calendar. Photo courtesy Rosevear Photography

Show Society president Eddie Zarb confirmed to the Queanbeyan Age that the three members had been expelled, but strongly denied it had anything to do with the calendar.

In separate letters from the society dated September 4, Mr and Mrs Harriden were advised that the Show Society had "considered a matter of complaint" raised against them.

The letter to Mr Harriden said the Committee "considered that your outbursts of aggressive behaviour, threats of violence and other verbal threats ... were grossly inappropriate in a Committee meeting ...

"Further, the Committee also decided that under section 18 (c) of the Constitution ... you should be expelled as a member of the Society."

Mrs Holden, who received a letter dated September 3, was expelled for breaching the terms and conditions of a previous suspension from the committee.

Mr Harriden said the drama began when Mr Zarb contacted the calendar organisers to see the photo of Mrs Harriden and Mrs Holden.

Calendar organiser Gillian Southwell said Mr Zarb phoned her and demanded to see the photo.

"I asked him why he wanted to see it and he told me the two women hadn't received permission from the committee to appear in the calendar," Mrs Southwell said.

"At that stage, no one other than the photographers, Pauline (Leake) and I had seen any of the photos and no one was going to until the launch.

"But I sent it to him because he was so insistent.

He told me he wouldn't show it to anyone."

Mr Zarb also wanted to know why the November photo wasn't exclusively women from the Show Society, Mrs Southwell said.

"I explained that Pauline and I had chosen the people to be in photos based on a range of criteria. The idea of giving November a show theme came to us later," she said.

Mrs Southwell had a Queanbeyan Show banner made up for the photo. She said Mr Zarb also demanded to know where that came from.

When she learned of the phone call, Mrs Harriden wrote to Mr Zarb to ask why he wanted the photo, and why he was getting involved in what members did in their own time.

Mr Zarb did not respond to the letter.

At a Queanbeyan Show Society committee meeting on August 6, the conversation became heated.

Mrs Harriden asked Mr Zarb why he still had the photo of her on his phone.

Vice president Josh Williams also asked where the calendar organisers had got the banner.

Aware that Mr Zarb had said he wouldn't show the photo to anyone, Mr Harriden demanded to know why he had shown it around.

The resulting argument escalated to the point where Mr Williams and Mr Harriden threatened to come to blows.

"At this stage we were all yelling and swearing," Mr Harriden said.

"But this was a person (Mr Zarb) I had known for a very long time and trusted on a personal level.

"He had kept this photo of my wife on his phone and had been showing it around, so of course I was angry."

Mr Zarb told the Queanbeyan Age that the Show Society "fully supports the calendar".

"The (calendar) organisers have applied for stall space at this year's show and we are quite happy for them to sell the calendars there," Mr Zarb said

Mr Harriden has appealed his expulsion.

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