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Rediscovering Ginninderra: A database:
Ginninderra Farmers' Union

The Farmers’ Union was inaugurated by Everard Crace in 1905. The object was to assist the local farmers in improving their methods of farming, to assist them in purchasing their seed, bags and farm machinery at lower cost and to create a closer social feeling among the residents of the district.

Lecturers from the Agricultural and Veterinary Departments were organised for the local farmers. Pruning demonstrations were given in the old Glenwood orchard, and in this way the Ginninderra Farmers Union established the first Agricultural Bureau in Australia.

Something else that must be credited to the Union, is the encouragement of farmers to discuss their difficulties and failures, and provision of means of seeking information from the Department of Agriculture. From this source instructive pamphlets and leaflets were procured and distributed amongst members of the association. A set of veterinary instruments and veterinary medicines were also procured for the use of members.

Ginninderra Farmers’ Union Hall

One of the Union’s first activities was to organise a sports meeting to raise funds for the erection of a building for use as a venue for both the Union’s meetings and social activities and for the School of Arts.

In 1906 a site was made available for the hall between Deasland and the general store and the new building was opened on 8th August that year. It was in constant use with a gymnasium, library, entertainment and lecture room.

In 1914 it was reported that not only the hall, but also the land of the Ginninderra district was being acquired as part of the new Federal Capital Territory. The resumption of the Farmers’ Union and School of Arts hall caused the disbandment of these organisations. Their passing meant the loss of the strong community spirit that had prevailed for so long and with that, the village itself. Funds held by the Farmers’ Union and the School of Arts were distributed to local hospitals, churches (of all denominations) and the Crippled Soldiers’ Relief Fund.

Ginninderra and the Royal Canberra Show

The Royal Canberra Show is now one of the country’s biggest and best annual shows outside the State capital cities. It traces its origins back to 1908 when the Ginninderra Farmers’ Union organised a show at Ginninderra. It was regarded as an unqualified success and in the ensuing years went on to become the most successful event of its type in the district.

The seventh and last show at Ginninderra was held in 1915 because of the First World War, despite the event being attended by 1,200 people and raising much needed funds for the war effort. This also coincided with the Federal Government resuming ownership of the site.

The Advance Hall and District Association organised small district shows in 1924 and 1925. The show of 1927 is officially recognised by the royal National Capital Agricultural society as the ‘inaugural’ Canberra Show.

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