Seventy years ago at Dalgety...

THIS region has changed a lot in 70 years. In 1945 the roads were rougher and cars were scarce, but one thing remains the same. Families still travel to Dalgety on the first Sunday of March for the Dalgety Show.

Now in its 70th year, the Dalgety Show is the only agricultural show in the Snowy River Shire. The first Dalgety Show took place in 1945. Life member of the Dalgety Show Society, Charlie Roberson told of how Billy Bruce decided to start the show to exhibit the produce from the area.

"He had a lot of foresight;" Mr Roberson said of Billy Bruce, "especially given that it has carried on ever since."

Mr Roberson, then a young man, was still in the Army at the time of the first show. But 78-year-old, Allan Caldwell, remembers going to the very first Dalgety Show when he was nine.

"I went with my grandfather. We lived at Woolaway, on the Bobundra Road. We rode our horses from Woolaway to Dalgety, it was a three hour ride," Mr Caldwell said.

The Woolaway property was situated on what is now known as Wullwye Creek. "Back in those days, Woolaway to Dalgety was a big trip."

Allan thought back to how he felt on the day. "I don't know if I was overawed by the crowd or terrified.

Today families travel all the time to Canberra and Sydney. Back then anything that involved a lot of people was a really big thing. As a kid on the farm we just didn't see many people, except for at the shows.

"My grandfather ran a market garden. He entered a lot of veggies in the Show over the years. There was a small shed and marquee used for the pavilion displays. I rode in the Show, but can't quite remember if I competed in the first one or not. My grandfather's horse was named Bell. She would pull the sulky and was used in the riding events. She finished the day with the flag race."

Mr Caldwell remembers the time that Tex Sheppard set up a boxing ring at the Show. "He set up four poles, surrounded by hessian so people had to pay to go in and watch."

The fact that the show has been successfully held every year bar one since then is a tribute to Billy Bruce and the ingenuity and determination of the small community. In 2012, despite all the planning in place, flooding in the Snowy River in the lead up to the show resulted in the 68th Dalgety Show having to be cancelled - the only one that didn't go ahead.

The 70th Dalgety Show will take place on Sunday March 2 celebrating this milestone birthday with a big birthday cake to share. All the usual displays and competitions return including the woodchop, horse events, yard dog championships, pavilion displays and the famous Arthur Costello Tug-O-War and the Snowy River Tyrepower Teams Challenge.

Kids today can get just as much amazement at the Show as nine year old Allan did in 1945. With rides, amusements, Milo the Clown performing and PRIME7 POSSUM visiting the historical town Dalgety Show is the 'show for kids'.

Entry is $10 for adults, $5 aged pensioners and free for school aged children. For more information, programme of events and entry details visit the Show's website www.dalgetyshow.com.au

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