The Finley Agricultural and Pastoral Association was formed in 1912, with the first show in September 1913. The local paper described the show as a "Red-letter day in the town's history". The driving force behind the formation of the association was John Thomas Close, who came to Finley as a 23-year-old blacksmith in 1893. He was first president and served for 11 consecutive years.
The early shows were held on the recreation reserve but a larger area was required by the 1950's. Then the present showgrounds were proclaimed under trusteeship by the Lands Department. A fund-raising campaign was launched, voluntary workers cleared the land, planted trees and erected buildings. Association president, Alex Mickle, initiated a unique share-farming venture which netted £4,000 ($8,000) in three years.
The first show on the new complex was held in 1962. The efforts of Alex Mickle were permanently honoured when a large new pavilion was named after him in 1971. Finley had progressed to a two-day show by 1978, due to the magnificent response by the people of the district, sponsors and competitors. Development has continued on the showground and sporting complex, with new amenities being added as finances permit.
~ As published in Show People by Gilbert Mant, 1985.
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