Settlers showed lots of initiative
GAYNDAH’S pioneers had “a lot of initiative and get-up-and-go”, according to Gayndah Show patron Alan McCallum.
The Gayndah Show patron was thankful for the town’s pioneers.
“When we look back at history, we had the first derby in Queensland running here in Gayndah, first campdraft ever run here in Gayndah, first rodeo run here in Gayndah,” Mr McCallum said.
Early settlers formed the Gayndah and District Burnett Farmers Club, and applied to purchase the showgrounds in 1864.
Cattle and horse shows were mentioned in newspapers until the end of that century, but there had been a break of up to 30 years before the latest series of shows, allied to the Royal Agricultural Society, began in 1907.
It’s acknowledged that some shows were missed, possibly in the war years or due to extreme weather conditions, leading to the opening of this week’s 100th show. Often a two-day show, some years were an exception with a three-day show being held in 1948 to celebrate the centenary of the Burnett Settlement.
Mr McCallum recalled that Cherbourg attendees demonstrated boomerang and spear-throwing.
Mr McCallum said he led the change in more recent years to a one-day show to ensure people’s interest and to make it easier for the workers.
Archives also reveal the date moved progressively from July to June to May to April, with the headline “humbugged by Gayndah” in 1935 when the town tried to take Monto’s show dates.
In 1912, ring events included unicorn team ponies, a military turnout, hunters’ contest, milking competition and woodchop.
Compare that to 1989, when the headlines highlighted sideshow alley – the arrival of a small roller-coaster, the only one of its kind in Australia, and the reappearance of dodgem cars.
Whether your favourites are the entertainment or the focus on agricultural life, enjoy the show!
GAYNDAH CITRUS: Internationally and universally recognised, Gayndah citrus made a splendid display at the show.
Beasts compete to be best in show at a judging.
Woodchoppers are at the top of the game at the show.