His official duties involve a lot of crying in public, but Toowoomba Region Town Crier Kevin Howarth is laughing loudly too, following his stellar efforts at the recent Australian and world Town Crier titles at Echuca-Moama.

Mr Howarth won two titles and was awarded three second places at the Australian Guild Town Criers’ 30th anniversary championships at the twin towns on the Murray River.

He capped his trip south by recording an ear-splitting 101.7 decibel cry, similar in volume to a helicopter or chainsaw, to win the loudest cry in the world title at the World Invitational Town Crier tournament.

Mr Howarth finished fourth in the overall world competition, behind the winner from the United States (Richard Riddell from Washington State) and two Canadians (Chris Whyman and Daniel Dit LaFleche).

(Awards: First - loudest Cry in Australia, also 2018 loudest Australian winner, and the world; best Australian Cry; Second places were for best dressed crier, second in the champion of champions by one point and people’s choice (for the Long Paddock Cry) awarded by The Friends of Old Moama)

Few who have heard Mr Howarth at civic events across the region would doubt his enthusiasm and his ability to dial up the volume at will.

towncrierwinsHe said these traits and a strict regime to protect his vocal cords paid handsome dividends at Echuca-Moama.

“I was especially proud to represent the Toowoomba Region and ventured south eager to compete against some of the most experienced and wily Town Criers in the country and the world,” Mr Howarth said at a respectable 50 decibels.

“I loved seeing the calibre of the criers’ uniforms, especially the Indigenous Canadian costume which was a showstopper.

“The American winner, Richard Riddell, is a trained opera and theatrical singer, who produced a few party tricks reciting his Oyezs to the tune of The Star Spangled Banner. That certainly attracted a fair bit of attention.

“Apart from the competition, the criers were transported around the district visiting schools, Men’s Sheds and a nursing home to perform a few routines and speak with the residents.”

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio congratulated Mr Howarth for his fine achievements.

“Kevin is passionate about representing our region and has an infectious personality that enlivens any event,” Mayor Antonio said.

Toowoomba Regional Council Tourism and Events portfolio leader Cr Geoff McDonald said Mr Howarth’s award-winning efforts were most praiseworthy.

“Mr Howarth is a fine ambassador for the region who certainly embodies our rich traditions and bold ambitions in a unique and compelling manner,” Cr McDonald said.

Caption: Toowoomba Region Town Crier Kevin Howarth (top with some of his spoils and centre left) with fellow world champion Town Criers Daniel Dit LaFleche (third) with Julia Dudley, Chris Whyman (second) and winner Richard Riddell, right, from Washington State on the banks of the Murray River.