Numurkah Agricultural and Pastoral Society has published a book about its 131-year history. Publicity officer Marjorie Porter compiled the book with secretary Sue Aldridge’s help.By Laura Griffin
Ms Porter said the book had evolved into a history of the wider community.
The 200-page book covers the highs and lows, surprises and changes to the show and the wider community.
It also has photos of a silver prize card from the first show in 1882, silver cups from 1883, the founding fathers and machinery.
George Graham was Numurkah Agricultural and Pastoral Society's first president.
The prize card and cups were found in a box at Numurkah Historical Society.
‘‘They are the most magnificent silver cups. I bought them home and spent three hours polishing them — I was covered in dust,’’ Ms Porter said.
Over seven months, they drew information from an ‘‘invaluable’’ booklet, local newspapers from 1881 onwards accessed on microfiche and disks, and other community members.
‘‘People would call up and say they had found something online and were we interested.’’
A Numurkah man also bought them a complete Jubilee Numurkah Show souvenir record from 1933 that was found in a back shed.
‘‘We discovered the founding fathers of the Numurkah Agricultural and Pastoral Society were involved not only in our community, but also in the wider state and nation. For example, the society’s first president George Graham was also a councillor with Shepparton Council and a member of state parliament,’’ Ms Porter said.
‘‘There are others in the book — a list as long as your arm.’’
It was not only the society’s leaders that impressed Ms Porter while she was researching.
‘‘From where I sit, over the 131 years there have been people who believed so deeply in rural community that when the going was tough — during wars and the depression — they dug deep and kept it going.
‘‘Even today, about 100 people from the community will suddenly turn up three days before the show and help set up, run the show and then clean up.’’
Ms Porter was thrilled to receive the Victorian Government Local History Grant to help fund the project, which she said was thanks largely to Ms Aldridge’s efforts.
Five-hundred copies of It All Began are being printed.
Copies are $20 each plus postage and packaging and can be sourced by phoning Marjorie Porter on 5862
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