28 November, 2023
Festival announces ambassador
A LOCAL, unsung hero will take a well-deserved place in the spotlight at next year’s Koroit Irish Festival.
Maureen Keane has been announced as the festival’s ambassador for 2024.
Festival president Adele MacDonald said Mrs Keane was the perfect choice for the role.
“The festival is all about community and Maureen just typifies all that we love about Koroit,” Mrs MacDonald said.
“She is such a wonderful person, salt-of-the-earth, and is much loved in Koroit.
“She has done so much for the town and her family and we are just thrilled we are able to honour her in this way.”
Mrs Keane is a mother to eight children, a grandmother to 19 and a great grandmother to five. She married Terry Keane in 1962 but sadly he passed away in 2006.
Like many in Koroit and district, the couple were proudly working class and raised their family with hard work and love.
“We had what we had and we made the most of it,” Mrs Keane said. “I don’t think we missed out on anything we needed, the kids were always happy.
“They always found something to do playing around the yard and then there was football and cricket and netball, there was always something happening.”
The Keane children were talented players at their chosen sports and their mum was always there doing her bit to help out.
Mrs Keane was a mainstay on the Koroit Football Netball Club committee for many years, with her tireless work being rewarded with life membership of the club.
She also offered a willing pair of hands whenever help was needed for school catering or any other occasion that required Koroit to show its best hospitality to the world.
As for her Irish ties, Mrs Keane has made a visit to Ireland, ironically through a connection with the Koroit Irish Festival.
Star performer Maria Forde was promoting one of her guided tours to Ireland during a show at Koroit and Mrs Keane and her friend Lynette Lewis decided it was the perfect fit for them.
“We had a great trip, Maria was able to take us to some good places, we really enjoyed it,” Mrs Keane said.
“I like Irish music and it’s great to have the festival each year, it brings a lot of people to Koroit.”
The 2024 festival will be held on the weekend of April 26-28 and is again expected to attract an audience of 4000.
For Mrs Keane, 2024 will take her involvement in the festival to the next level.
She will be a special guest at the opening concert on the Friday night and will lead the famed street procession on the Saturday as part of her ambassador duties.
Tickets to the festival are now on sale online.
Mrs MacDonald said the full weekend tickets, which include the Friday night concert, sell out very quickly and is urging people to get on the festival’s website to avoid missing out.
Saturday and Sunday tickets will also be available online.