It's not everyday that you celebrate 50 years of one community event. And with Finley only having been proclaimed a town in 1893, very few aspects of the town would have had the opportunity to do so by 1967, let alone a community event.
The 50th annual Finley Show was held on Wednesday 6 September 1967, and was regarded at the time as "the greatest one-day show in New South Wales." Every section saw a massive increase in entries, with show secretary Mr. R.A. Koschel stating that entries exceeded 4000. The grand parade showcased the calibre of entries and featured "some of the most well known names in the Australian stud stock books."
The show was officially opened by Member for Murray, Mr. Joe Lawson. Mr. George Dawe was also present at the opening, the 91-year-old being the sole surviving member of the committee of the first show in 1913.
"Show president, Mr. G.D. Thomas, said the 50th jubilee show was being staged this year because four shows were missed during World War II [1940-1943] and also the one in 1931 - the last mentioned either because of drought or flood, no one was quite sure." [It was a result of the financial depression and drought]
In it's eighth year, the Miss Show Girl Competition was still very popular with the crowd, but the number of entrants had declines from previous years, with nine young ladies participating in the competition.
Seventeen-year-old Miss Joy Hamilton, a hairdresser and sponsored by Beryl's Boutique was announced at the 1967 Miss Show Girl. In second place was sixteen-year-old Miss Jan Williams sponsored Finley Motel, and third place was won by seventeen-year-old Miss Karen Walsh, sponsored by Lindsay Walsh's Fruit Mart.
The Finley Mail of Wednesday, 13th September, gives great detail about the fashion choices of the three entrants:
"Joy chose the 'total' look in colour for her pale pink ensemble of silk finish, cotton frock and fully lined coat, which was held by a self material rose at the neckline. Her pretty little pink court shoes were finished with a matching grosgrain bow and her large brimmed hat was of stitched pink organza. Joy added pink bag and gloves.
Jan introduced a breakaway from accepted Miss Show Girl fashion tradition by appearing without a hat and looked fresh and modern in a printed floral flock of Mitsubisi cotton, the very tiny flowers were in cyclamen across and blue tonings on a purple background, box pleating fell from the high yoke to hem and sleeves were three quartered to a cuff. Jan worse net stockings and aqua shoes.
Karen chose a true pink for her ensemble of frock and coat of crimplane, she wore a crisp little pink straw hat with upturned brim and added navy shoes and handbag."
Other entrants included Miss Mary Tomlin, Miss Heather Wilson, Miss Faye Purdie, Miss Therese Dale, Miss Lynette Knight, and Miss Helen West.
An interesting addition to the show this year was a section for stamp collections - "the response from philatelists in many distant parts of Australia was staggering".
Apart from the golden wattle that adorned the Olympic jumps and the stage where the Miss Show Girl judging took place, "the society did not go out of its way to celebrate the occasion", according to The Land of Thursday, September 14. "Everybody was too busy staging what is recognised as the biggest one-day show in the south."
The 50th show may have passed by with little fanfare, but our 100th next year is, hopefully, going to be a big celebration!
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.