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Neerim District Show History 1907 to 2016

The first show held by the Neerim District Agricultural & Horticultural Society was in 1907, it was called the Neerim District Show and was over 3 days.

The first president, being N J Davey with the Secretary being, Phillip Knight.

This show mostly comprised of school work and poultry, with all the harness events held in the main street of Neerim South and the horse events in Mrs. Aucterlonies’s paddock. Flowers and cookery competitions were held in the Mechanics Institute (which was back then located next to the pre-school) and then later on in W. Stephens Paddock.

In the early 1920’s the show had become such a success that they ran a special train out from Warragul, this cost the Society 16 pound. This train carried passengers, stock and exhibits to the show grounds.

In 1925, 16 acres of land was purchased from W Stephens at 45 pounds per acre and was financed by debentures at 5 pounds each. First trustees were J Swaffield, G Notman and T Algie, but only 3 or 4 debentures of all that were taken out, were ever claimed back from the Society.

There was no show held in 1927 following the devastating bushfires of 1926 in the district.

In 1929 Electricity was connected the show grounds and later concrete sheds and showers, paid for by the Show Society, Neerim District Football and the grounds committee, the show was also very successful around this time and they were able to pay off the monies owing on the land.

In 1961 it was moved, seconded and carried “that the Society transfer to the crown the whole of its land Neerim South to enable same to be preserved as a Perpetual Recreation and Agricultural Society Reserve”, so that grants could be applied for. A move that probably today is seen as not a good decision.

Further land was purchased in 1963 from J W Dawson and a further section was rented from H Price to give a Northern entrance from the Main Road and in 1972 arena lights were installed. A Fat cattle section along with Pony Club events were held prior to the show, this proved very successful.

However during the late 70’s the show was unable to secure a land lease from H Price and was forced to move the show from Neerim South to its current location at the Neerim Recreation reserve.

The Show has continued to rein- vent itself year after year by combining traditional show activities and competitions with crowd pleasing new and interesting events. Now heading towards its 98th Show in 2015, 108 years later, the Neerim District Country Show is still going strong and continues to be enjoyed by the Neerim Community, competitors and visitors to the region.

It was the first Society to hold a show on a Saturday, this being the 28th of March 1928. The First Society that had 3 father and son presidents, E Kelliher Snr and his son Teddy, DP Kelliher Snr and his son David with C Mc Gillivray and his son Don. The first Society in Victoria to have pure bred Charolias exhibited on the ground and the first Society to have 8 different beef breeds exhibited in one day.

2015 will see the return of Beef Cattle competitions to Neerim after a 10 year absence and it would be fitting to be able to have 8 different beef breeds exhibited again at the return of cattle competitions at ‘Neerim’ in 2015.