COVID hits Penrith Working Truck Show again

The annual event has succumbed to the pandemic for the second year running

COVID hits Penrith Working Truck Show again
Flashback to the 2019 Penrith Working Truck Show.Belinda McMartin


The 2021 Penrith Working Truck Show will be a virtual event following a decision by the Museum of Fire’s board of directors due to ongoing restrictions.

Penrith’s Museum of Fire, the venue for the annual show, was also forced to cancel the 2020 event as well as the Sydney Classic and Antique Truck Show. The pandemic has also had an impact on the museum’s ability to remain open to the public during the past 10 months.

The board had hoped to honour the memory of the museum’s late CEO, Mark White AFSM OAM, at the 2021 Penrith Working Truck Show. White passed away on May 19, 2020, after being at the forefront of the museum’s heritage works, leading the museum in all endeavours for well over 30 years.

While serving as museum CEO and co-organiser of both the Penrith Working Truck Show and Sydney Classic and Antique Truck Show, White remained an active firefighter and was committed to preserving the history of the brigade and serving the community. For his dedicated service to the community, he received the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) and the Order of Australia medal.

White was also the longest service firefighter at St Mary’s Fire Station.

New Museum of Fire CEO, Belinda McMartin, says the board had been holding off making a decision on whether the 2021 Penrith Working Truck Show (PWTS) would go ahead. It was scheduled to run on March 28.

"Recent events have shown that things can change suddenly," McMartin says.

"The Museum lost approximately $30,000 in un-refundable expenditure from the last-minute cancellation of the 2020 show which is why I’m sure you can understand our current hesitation in proceeding with the 2021 show.

"As such, the Museum’s board of directors have decided to hold a virtual PWTS 2021. Yes, things will be different but if the situation in NSW changes it will mean we can have a special PWTS Memorial Day in March 2021 when the winning trucks of each category will be invited to the Museum.

"More information on this day will be circulated at a later date," McMartin says.

Museum of Fire CEO Mark White passed away in May 2020. Photo by Greg Bush

The board says it will attempt to assist the museum in recovering costs by utilising the items produced for the 2020 show. Therefore, the upcoming 2021 show is still being branded as the 33rd Penrith Working Truck Show.

Entries for the digital event opened on January 15. Entry price has been dropped to $20 per category, or $50 for three categories. Entries close on February 8 at 4pm.

Voting for the virtual show entries commence on February 22, closing on March 1.

For further information and entry forms, see the website at or the Facebook page.

This Penrith Working Truck Show is owned and fully managed by the Museum of Fire, a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation.

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