On 2nd June, 1953, our current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, was officially coronated at Westminster Abbey. Despite being 16,771 kilometres from London, the Finley Show Society celebrated the auspicious event with a 'Coronation Show' on Wednesday, September 9.
The one-day show was hailed as the 'best ever' with a record crowd and entries, and was officially opened by Berrigan Shire President Cr. W. S. Collie. He described the event as a "credit to the town and district"
While our current records don't tell us much about how the 'Coronation' part of the show was celebrated, it seems that many agricultural shows around the region, were named 'Coronation Shows'.
The following appeared in The Land on September 18:
Finley's one-day Coronation Show last week was the best ever held in Finley, officials and old showgoers claimed.
Gate takings fell slightly short of the record, but the attendance was probably a record, because of the big increase in membership in the past 12 months.
The entries were the largest in the history of the show.
The show was previously held on the Saturday but with the advent of the universal Saturday half-holiday, it has been held on the Wednesday.
Football is a strong counter-attraction in the Southern Riverina.
Officially opening the show, the president of the Berrigan Shire (Cr. W. S. Collie) described it as a credit to the town and district.
He said that the aggregate educational value of the many one-day shows held throughout the State must be enormous.
The ground has been greatly improved since the last show.
New improvement include cattle yards and poultry pens.
The poultry pens would be a credit to any ground.
They are arranged in a long line, with backs to the weather and front to the light.
The birds are well protected and may be inspected by the judge and the public without any of the difficulties arising from poor lighting, which are met at much larger centres.
The district exhibits also were well housed, with plenty of room for display and good light for inspection.
The ruled production of the district was reflected in the North v. South district competition.
They included every king of agricultural, pastoral and horticultural product.
There appeared to be little between the exhibits.
North gained the award to reverse last year's result.
Two breeds of cattle, Poll Herefords and Jerseys were exhibited, but there was no competition, with only one exhibitor in each section.
This was a pity, because the cattle were of high quality.
Mrs. L. R. Merrifield took all awards for Jerseys.
She had previously taken most of the awards at Wagga, where her champion bull, Willow Rest Douglas, took the championships.
He won in his class at last Sydney Royal Show.
Mr. S. T. Hawkins took all Poll Hereford awards.
His stock would be hard to fault anywhere.
His champion cow, which was champion at the last Melbourne Royal show was an animal of outstanding quality.
The quality of sheep exhibited in all sections was good, although competition was lacking in the Corriedales, all awards, including the two championships, going to Mr S. T. Hawkins.
This exhibitor was represented by a very good lot of sheep.
The Dorset Horn section was perhaps the best section in the show.
Finley is a fat lamb district, where the Dorset Horn is described by sheep men as a "good fat lamb job."
Here again Mr. S. T. Hawkins took both championships.
His champion ram was a massive, packed with mutton to the hocks, while the champion ewe was a typical mother of fat lams, showing breed quality and constitution.
Although Mr. Hawkins took championship honours, he met with some opposition in the classes, Messers, G. Cremesco and T. O'Brien gaining shares of both major and minor awards.
Competition in the Merino section was better than in other sections.
The champion ram, a big sheep, carrying high-class wool on a big frame, and showing all the indications of a top sire, was exhibited by Mr. N. P. Desnilly.
The champion Merino ewe, bred and exhibited by Mr. H. F. Atkinson, displayed splendid constitution, and was well covered with high quality wool.
Two features in the ring events were outstanding.
One was the ability of the ring stewards to run off a big programme in the limited time.
The other feature was the skill of the riders, which enabled their mounts to win various events.
Miss Valerie Hermiston, in winning the Olympic Hunt on her own entry, scored the possible
Johnny Mason, riding Mr. F. Pyle's Texas in the District Hunt, gave a great display of horsemanship in riding his mount to victory.
Amateurism is a keynote of activity at this show.
Members of the show society did a great job in preparing the ground for the show and another great, but inglorious, job in cleaning up the ground the day after the show.
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.