A conservative estimate of the attendance fixed the number present at 1500, close on 900 people paying for admission at the gate. A strong contingent in five motor cars made the journey from Cobram, Deniliquin and Berrigan were well represented, a prominent councillor assuring us that the entire population of the latter town only two bedridden invalids were left at home. Owing to the day not being observed as a holiday in the riverside town fell short of expectations, but was fairly substantial the special trains returning a small profit to the society.
The official opening ceremony was performed by Mr. R.T. Ball, M.L.A. The show of want of confidence motions in the Federal House prevented Mr Falkiner, M.H.R, from being present, and Mr Peters M.L.A. was also unavoidably absent.
At the luncheon the following toasts were honours. The King by J.T. Close, Esq. The State and Federal Parliament, proposed by Geo. Reynoldson, Esq., and responded to by R.J. Ball. The Finley A. and P. Association proposed by R.J. Ball, and responded to by J.T. Close, Esq. The Judges, proposed by J.T. Close, and responded to by Wise and Ross. Kindred Societies and Visitors, proposed by E. Jones, Esq, mayor of Deniliquin, and Mr M'Grady. The Press, proposed by Mr Hoyle, and responded by Messrs Hallifax, Jones and Wyse. The President, proposed by Mr Ball and responded by Mr J.T. Close.
The initial effort of the society brought a splendid response in exhibits. The various sections filled well, but in the horse classes the competition was particularly keen. A high complement (sic) was paid to the local horse breeders by the judge, P. Whitty, Esq., who classed three prize winner in the 10st, hackney class as the best hackneys he had seen at any show. In the trotting section G. Dalton's mare Little Mary, carried off the honors, trotting the mile in the very credit able time of 2.47.
The financial side of the day was most satisfactory. The gate yielded over £40, the booth close on £100, and the refreshment rooms over £40. In addition about 250 members tickets were disposed of, and the concert and ball yielded a gross return of £52 Though the expenses were heavy, owing to the equipping of an entirely new ground and the erection of the necessary buildings, the Society expect to conclude their initial show with a credit balance, a most remarkable result for a first show and one that reflects greatest credit on all concerned.
The judging left nothing to be desired and as a prominent committeeman remarked at the close of the day, "There wasn't a growl in the crowd," which speaks volumes for the excellent management of the "new-chums."
In allotting the praise for the success of the function the lion's share of the credit must be awarded to Mr Close, the President of the Society. For the past 2 or 3 months "Jack" has grafted night and day to boom the show, and it is not much to say that but for him there never would have been a show in Finley. His efforts have been ably seconded by a splendid working committee, and more especially by Messrs Askew and Thorber, who shared the secretarial work.
The whole days passed off without the slightest hitched and if the Society in the future can maintain the splendid standard of excellence reached on this occasion, Finley will be in the proud position of having the finest show in the district.
The concert and dance held in the School of Arts in the evening was greeted with a packed house from the footlights to half-way up the wall at the back, main being turned away for want of room twenty minutes after the doors opened. The programme, of which Mr R.E. Finn was the particular star, was first class, and was vociferously received.
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.