Hot on the trail of Bundaberg Show's history
AS THE Bundaberg Show Society gears up for this year's event, the committee is hoping people can come forward with a more detailed history.
Wendy Driver was elected president of the society in November, and is the first woman in the job since it began more than 100 years ago.
She has been a life member of the show society since 1994 and has been involved in the show through the woodchop section with her grandfather, Wally Truscott, and the photographic section with husband Ross for many years.
Mrs Driver said the society began when interested citizens formed the Mulgrave Pastoral Agricultural and Horticultural Association in 1878 and held an exhibition at the back of the Immigration Depot and the Court House on the banks of the Burnett River.
This was only 11 years after Steuart Bros settled on the northern banks of the river.
"There were no shows between 1881 and 1890," she said.
"In 1891 once again an event was held in Quay St and the governor commented it was one of the best rural shows in Queensland."
From 1891 to 1922 the show was held either in Quay St or later at the racecourse.
There were also Show Races held during the year.
The dates of the show varied from May to September.
"Discussions continued with the Bundaberg City Council for many years and an offer was made to the society to purchase the grounds in Burrum St," Mrs Driver said
Mr Redman, who was vice-president at the time and the owner of the Queen's Theatre, bought a new Chevrolet car to raffle to raise the money to pay the council.
"Being a very enterprising man, he visited many shows in northern, western and southern Queensland promoting the Art Union," Mrs Driver said.
"First prize went to a Mr Bonning in Ingham and none of the other 11 prizes came to Bundaberg."
In 1902 the Bundaberg Agricultural, Pastoral and Industrial Society was formed.
Queensland governor Sir Matthew Nathan opened the first show at the grounds in Burrum St in 1922.
The show continued at Burrum St until 2012.
In 2013 the show society moved to the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct and this year is the third at the new venue.
"Teething problems are being overcome by working with Bundaberg Regional Council with regards to power distribution and facilities," Mrs Driver said.
"This year new lighting has been installed in the car park and power supply for attractions has been upgraded."