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History of the Maitland Show Society

Written by Beryl Nuemann, 2008.

Congratulations to the Maitland Agricultural, Horticultural and Floricultural Society, which in 2008 celebrated 130 years of active service in the community.

The Show Society was formed on Saturday 22 June, 1878, at a meeting at the Maitland Hotel. Its aim was to hold an annual Show for the "education, instruction and entertainment of all concerned." The meeting elected Thomas Bowman as President, John Moloney and Henry Lamshed as Vice Presidents and Henry Lousada as Secretary, to act with "an influential Commitee". The name chosen was Yorke Valley Agricultural, Horticultural and Floricultural Society.

The first Show was held three months later, on Thursday 26 September, 1878, on the property of Thomas O'Brien, Sec. 116 Hd of Maitland, adjacent to the Ardrossan Road. The classes included Ploughing, Horse Stock, Cattle, Sheep, Pigs, Machinery, Wheat, Farmyard and Dairy Produce. Admission was one shilling (10 cents), with 100 pounds ($200) offered in prize money and a profit of 50 pounds ($100) made.

The following year the Show was held on Thomas Bowman's property adjacent to the town, and then in 1880 the Show Society was granted five acres of the parklands. A marquee was erected for the flowers, agricultural and dairy produce, and the Maitland Brass Band contributed to the programme. The site, which included the Cricket ground, was fenced, and stock yards, sheep and pig pens erected, giving the Show Society ten acres of enclosed space. The name was then changed to the Maitland Agricultural, Horticultural and Floricultural Society, which remains to this day.

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