Gympie Show Society president Lars Hedberg and secretary Deb Rowlands congratulate 125 Years on Show curators Kerrie Atkins and Barb Hart for their hard work.
Gympie Show Society president Lars Hedberg and secretary Deb Rowlands congratulate 125 Years on Show curators Kerrie Atkins and Barb Hart for their hard work. Craig Warhurst

Celebrating 125 years of the Gympie Show

IT IS hard to imagine now, but the first Gympie Show was held on the site of the Old Gympie Railway Station 136 years ago.

It was 1877, and the show was named the Gympie Agricultural, Mining and Pastoral Society Exhibition and timed to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of gold being discovered in Gympie.

During the 136 years, world wars and the Depression were the only things to stop the show.

This year, the Gympie Show Society is celebrating the 125th show with an exhibition in the Gympie Regional Gallery.

Curators of the show exhibition are Barb Hart and Kerrie Atkins.

The pair has put six months work into an exhibition that traces the first steps of the show until the present day.

Hundreds of artefacts, photos and artworks have been sourced for the two-week exhibition.

Mrs Hart said bringing together the display has been a huge effort.

She said along with collecting pieces for the exhibition, she and Ms Atkins had verbal interviews with people and families with long associations with the event.

People like Noel Gluch were interviewed.

Mr Gluch has attended every show since he was 14, and he is now more than 90.

Families like the Ramseys and the Mullhollands had their verbal history recorded. They, over four generations, have been involved with the show from the start.

Mrs Hart showed off a silver cup which was a prize won by the Mullholland family in the very first show.

The exhibition will be officially opened tomorrow at 6pm.

CEO of the Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies Mark Bryant will be the guest speaker.

The book All Hands to the Plough, a history of the Gympie Show and written by Pat Towner, will be launched.

Show facts

  • First show 1877.
  • No show in 1881, 1882 and 1883, because government bought land for railway station.
  • In 1884, the show moved to the present site after signing a deal with the turf club. Residents were upset at the move, saying it was too far from the centre of town.
  • The show used to have a procession from the centre of town to the event to open it.
  • The First World War stopped the show in 1916.
  • The Depression stopped the show in 1930.
  • There was no show from 1940-45 because of the Second World War.
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