Meet our 2019 | 2020 Committee

                                President                                                          Maxine Tully

                                Senior Vice President                                    David Woodforde

                                Junior Vice President                                    Graham Sobey

                                Secretary                                                         Ruth Mildwaters

                               

A Brief History of the Kadina A.H & F Society Inc.

 

The idea of a show it is believed to have been attributed to a discussion between two or three gentlemen, Mr. William Graham (who became stationmaster at Eyre’s Sand Patch on the Western Australia railway line), a Mr. Lang and Mr. F. W. Gurner.

 

1871 - The First Yorke Peninsula Agricultural Society Show

 

The first Yorke Peninsula Agricultural Society Committee was formed after a number of advertisements were placed in the Wallaroo Times & Mining Journal in on the 30th August and 2nd September 1871.

Elected officials were:

President: Mr. Samuel. J. Higgs Jnr. Wallaroo Mines Superintendent;

Vice President; Thomas Herne, Hall 

Secretary; Mr. William Graham 

Treasurer; Mr. Thomas Mitchell.

Conveners appointed were Thomas Mitchell, James Martin, William Graham, and Thomas Herbert.

On the 13th September 1871, the first Agricultural show was a ploughing match held on the property of Mr. William Graham, adjoining the property of Parnell and Bowman between Kadina and Wallaroo.

 

It took only two weeks to promote and organise the first show and what a sight it must have been with the smoke billowing from the Smelting Stacks of Wallaroo to the West and the tall chimneys of the mine shafts of Wallaroo mines engines thickly grouped together to the east.

A ploughing match was held, cattle sheep and pigs could be heard across the grounds and the Kadina Brass band played gay music throughout the day. Banners fluttered in the breeze from tents filled with all manner of garden specimens, farm, and dairy produce. There were numerous other exhibits even a young emu which would have a been novelty if shown at an English fair.

At the dinner held that night held in the Exchange Hotel, many toasts were celebrated as well as the work of those early volunteers who put together a large event in such a short time. 

In 1872 the YP Agricultural Society held its second show as well as another organisation formed that year; the Wallaroo and Doora Mines Gardening Society.

In 1873 these two societies who had similar members combined to form the Yorke Peninsula Agricultural, Horticultural & Floricultural Society. This was the first show to be opened by the Governor of South Australia

In 1874 the new show society moved its show closer to the Kadina Township to land that it purchased bounded by Julia Terrace, Waring Street, and Christie Street.

A more permanent exhibition building was developed.

However, by 1882, the show had outgrown this site and a much larger site was purchased close to the railway station which became the current showground site.

In October 1883 the Exhibition building had been completed and the show that year was opened again by the Governor of South Australia, who also opened the new railway line from Port Wakefield.

From 1884 the Kadina Showgrounds became the focal point of the community and many special events and all manner of sports were conducted on the showgrounds. The Show Society continued to flourish at the new location and in the late 1910’s was finally out of debt. It then built a grandstand for patrons, a bandstand and upgraded its animal pens.

In the 1920’s trotting was a huge draw card to the showgrounds and annual trots were held at each show. In the 1930’s as there were now five show societies on the Yorke Peninsula it changed its name to the Kadina Agricultural, Horticultural & Floricultural Society Inc. In the 1940’s trotting moved away from the show grounds but it returned under lights in the showgrounds under lights in the mid 1950’s until it ceased in 2006

 

Football, Cricket, Cycling, Horse riding, Pistol shooting, Roller Skating and Table Tennis are among the groups who regularly used the showgrounds. Table Tennis is the only remaining sport played at the showgrounds. The showgrounds were also used by many community organisations to run fairs, pageants and social events.

 

The annual shows were a means of bringing the community together and as new ideas progressed in farming equipment and products it became the means to showcase these interests. The show society played a very important part in the development of Kadina and the surrounding district.

 

Today, it approaches it's 150th annual show the Kadina A. H. & F Society will continue to showcase the community and that has become its motto.

In 2021 the Kadina A. H & F Society will celebrate a second milestone and turn 150 years old, becoming the oldest community organisation in Kadina. A book is being developed to tell the history of the Show Society through its 150 shows.

Image credit: State Library of SA