For those of you who may not know, the show wasn't always held at the Showgrounds. From 1913 until 1961, the show was held on a weekday at the footy grounds, making use of the facilities the ground had to offer. However, as the show grew and people from all over the region flocked to Finley on show day, space was becoming very limited on the grounds.
Under the guidance of President Alex Mickel, the committee set about utilising the current space, which was four times larger than the recreation reserve. Between 1961 and 1962, the arena, pavilions and amenities were erected on the ground, which would see exhibits and displays spread out to relieve the congestion felt at previous shows.
On Wednesday, 5th September, the first show was held on the grounds, with the opening being done by Mr. W. Rodman, the American Agricultural Attache at Canberra. Perfect spring weather prevailed on the day, despite scattered showed preceding it.
The new grounds also enabled Show Jumping to take place on the arena, and it was certainly one of the many highlights of the day. Adding to the excitement of having new grounds, a burlesque show girl contest was also held during the judging of the regular Show Girl competition. But it wasn't what you'd expect. Contestants were Miss Steak [Ken Shaw], Miss Tinin Toenails [Graham McPherson], Miss De Ball [John Close], and Miss De Water [Bob Shaw], the later two being sponsored by the Tennis and Swimming clubs respectively.
To honour Alex Mickel, and thank him for the tremendous work he had done during his six years as President, one of the buildings was named after him. The 'A.F. Mickle Pavilion' now denotes the sheep pavilion, although it was originally the arts & crafts pavilion (but we will get into that another day!).
[Ideally, we would have loved to share some photos of the grounds from the 60s, but we just don't have any! If you have some old photos, please let us know as we'd love to add them to our collection]
With our 100th show in 2017, we are looking at expanding our historic archives in order to produce a grand display, and for publication.
In order to do this, we need the help of the community.
We are looking for:
We want to share the history of the Finley Agricultural & Pastoral Association, as well as Finley in general, with the community through possible publication. In order to do this and make it the best it can be, we need the support of the community in helping us gather as much history as possible.
Help us record our local history in order to preserve it for future generations.