IN STYLE: The men's fashion on the field winner Fr Chukwudi Chinaka at the Kumbia races on November 7.
IN STYLE: The men's fashion on the field winner Fr Chukwudi Chinaka at the Kumbia races on November 7. Claudia Williams

SAINTLY SUIT: Catholic priest struts catwalk

NOT many Catholic priests have graced the runway, but one impressed the fashion judges.

Father Chukwudi Chinaka was excited to be named the men's best dressed at the Kumbia Races fashions on the field on Tuesday November 6.

"I'm just overwhelmed to be honest, it's a nice feeling to be chosen amongst all of the incredibly handsomely dressed young men," he said.

The Kingaroy and Nanango Catholic parish priest donned a Thomas Cook hat he had purchased the morning of the race day.

"I thought I'd go for something that is not so traditional," Fr Chukwudi said.

The races and his catwalk win were an opportunity for the community to understand priests were regular people.

"People get to understand Catholic priests are normal people who are just doing their work just like any other person," he said

"We are meant to be in the community and I guess this is one opportunity that has helped me to show people I am a human being like anybody else."

He was surprised by the number of people at the Kumbia race meet, which marked 90 years of racing for the town.

"I go to church here in Kumbia, I've always known the community to be very small, I didn't think it'd be this organised, or this big," he said.

"I'm really surprised and excited that there's this sort of awesome event can happen in a place like this."

The wide range of people coming together at the races made it a special day.

"I've met people from all walks of life, no boundaries, we're having fun together and getting to meet each other and just showing each other love, that's what the world should be and that's what I've really enjoyed today," Fr Chukwudi said.

The priest plans to shop ahead for the fashions on the field competition at the next races he attends.

 

Amy Smoothy was awarded the best classical lady in the fashions on the field competition on the day, with Varelle O'Shanesy placed second, with Kathy McMurdy placed third.

In the more contemporary category, unique styling, Courtney Retschlag was crowned the winner and Clare Fitz-Herbert was named runner up.

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