An interesting part of the history of the Finley Show Society and the Sporting Complex, is the erection of the main pavilion (or Indoor Cricket Pavilion, as it's known as).
Built in conjunction with the amenities block on the northern side of the arena (known as the hockey/archery/touch football building), the main pavilion was erected by Davidson's Engineering Co. of Wollamai Street, with the help of government funding. But, it wasn't built where it stands today. In fact, it was located on the southern side of the arena, where the cattle pavilions now sit.
The multi-purpose building was, according to the Southern Riverina News for 2nd September 1977, "designed in a way to have a multitude of uses and some to come to mind include cattle pavilion, basketball, cattle sales and even dressage events."
Despite it being a great building and facility, it's location on the showgrounds prevented it from being used to it's full potential, especially when the community was seeking to form an indoor cricket group during the mid-1980s.
With a $50,000 loan from the Berrigan Shire Council, the Committee of Management of the Finley Showground and Sporting Complex planned to move the building to its current location, and erect street lighting to the building. It was also going to be leased out to local sportsmen, who indicated that along with indoor cricket, they hoped to also incorporate other sports such as badminton, table tennis, darts, volleyball, basketball, indoor hockey, as well as a gymnasium.
"The lease also allowed for the building to be vacated for one week during showtime to allow it to be used as a pavilion and for indoor static displays, making it a multi-use building" (Southern Riverina News, 9th August, 1985). At the time, public opinion proved that the original site was unsuitable, hence it being given the nickname "The White Elephant".
During the first week of August in 1985, the building was relocated to it's current position by Webster's Steel Construction. However, at the show that year, it wasn't used as the main arts and crafts pavilion. Up until this point, the main pavilion displays were housed in the Mickle Pavilion, and in 1985 it was no different. However, with the new building, the static displays and afternoon tea found their home.
Between the 1985 and 1987 shows, a number of committee members suggested changes regarding the use of buildings on showday. A luncheon pavilion and Secretary's office located near the Mickle pavilion, was to be demolished, and the office would move to the annexe of the cricket pavilion. Jeff Close suggested that the Mickle Pavilion be used as the sheep pavilion (which were housed in make-shift pens, and plans were being considered to build a proper building), as it could also be used for Stud Sheep Sales. This meant that the main arts & crafts sections were to move to the indoor cricket pavilion, where they remain today.
But what of the cattle pavilion? The dairy cattle pavilion was already in existence when the cricket pavilion was built at the southern end of the grounds. But once it was moved, the cattle were soon without another shed. Over a few years in the early 1990s, the Show Society bought, raised and sold cattle, in order to raise $20,000 to build a new beef cattle pavilion. The new building was officially opened by MP Jim Small on showday.
As a show society and community, we are very fortunate to have access to such wonderful facilities, not just for the Finley Show, but for other community events.
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.