On this Flashback Friday, it seemed only fitting to look back at Life Member Gordon Pyle, who passed away last week.
Gordon had attended shows since he was child, and seemed to never miss one. For more than 50 years he attended working bees, had been a competitor, seward, showjumping official and course builder.
He was president from 1979 to 1981, was given a Life Membership of the society in 1989 and made Show Personality in 2004. In 2008 he was presented with 50 Years of Service to the Finley Show Society .
The following is a piece that Gordon had written for the 'Finley - 100 Years' book in 1993:
"The Show means different things to different people, for the president and committee it could be well merited satisfaction, tinged with anxiety if the weather is doubtful. For the exhibitors - early starts, hard work and success, or failure. For the kids - well kids are kids!
I have been aware of the Finley Show since my childhood days - then it was held mid week (in September), because we used the football ground. (Now we have a Sunday show, but we still clash with football). Then, Clydesdale horses took pride of place in the ring - with plenty of competition from hacks, ponies and riders.
Before the days of Olympic type show jumping, hunters competed 'around the ring.' The Mason family were prominent competitors, the Perry's 'Sister Fitzgerald', the Allens.
Horses which come to mind are 'Lady Radium', Ray Mason's 'Moonbria' and later little 'Pale Face.'
Frank Pyle has a great hunter called 'Texas'. Ridden by Doug Mason he won many events at the Royals as well as locally.
Later, in the thirties, the local Light Horsemen added dash and colour to the scene - riders Killeen, Donaldson, McDonald, Dawe, Pyle from Finley, under their Troop Leader Lieutenant George Bryant, did battle against the Tocumwal invaders, led by Lieutenant Bob Fyffe, aided and abetted by Victor Groutsch, Lloyd Allen, Stan Bodie and company.
Sideshow alley seemed just as active and extensive in those days - nostalgic hindsight?
Certainly it was noisy and dusty with most of the noise from Jimmy Sharmon's boxing troupe, where one of the troupe banged the drum.
A ride on a wheel, or whatever, probably cost 1 shilling (10 cents). One always just missed the gold watched on the hoopla stall - have a kewpie doll instead, was the alternative"
~ Finley, 100 Years (1993)
Gordon was a great asset not only to our Show Society, but to the Finley community and we are honoured to have worked with a wonderful man.
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.