This year would have been the 70th Wodonga Annual Show, but in March 2015 the entire grounds including the Turf Club were taken over by the AGM of the Ulysses Club. The sequence of country and city shows is regulated so moving the Wodonga Show to a different date was not an option.
In 1947 a meeting was called by then President of Wodonga Shire, Cr. Charles Pollard, to form a Show Society Committee, and he became the inaugural President of the Society. Seven past Presidents of the Wodonga Shire became part of the 25 man strong Show Society Committee, and an additional 150 members were recruited. The current Committee can only dream of those sorts of numbers, but their dream of an Annual Show attracting locals and visiting families is still alive.
An advertisement in the Border Morning Mail in March 1957 announced that shops in Wodonga would be closed: “Wodonga Shops will be closed on Saturday March 23 the day of the annual show. Chief Secretary’s office in Melbourne advised the shire secretary (Mr H. Silke) that the holiday had been gazetted.”
Mums would look forward to buying a new hat, girls were excited about a new dress, and going to the Show was a dress-up affair. Farmers parading their cattle wore a coat and tie.
In 1952 The Argus reported that attendance at the Show had been 2500, in addition to a big number of members, this was at a time when the population of Wodonga was around 5000, this shows the huge support afforded to the event by the community.
For the Show this year we have been promised the traditional horse and cattle events along with the more modern LaserTag and Bubble Soccer.
For the first time there will not be Arts & Crafts, Horticulture or Cooking. The Ladies Auxiliary was unable to continue its role. The Wodonga Historical Society intends to partly fill the gap in the Nell Wilson Pavilion with an extensive historic photographic display.
It is up to you, the readers, to support the local show. Do not let the Wodonga Annual Show be relegated to history. Mark your diaries for Saturday 18th March.