History of Oakey Agricultural, Pastoral and Rodeo Society Inc.
On October the 14th 1903, Oakey Creek Progress and Farmers' Association held a ploughing match and Show in Mr F. Krull's paddock, near the old Westbrook Woolshed. The proceedings incorporated four main ploughing events: a horse section which encompassed classes such as “Best Farmer’s Turnout” which consisted of 5 to 6 horses and wagon or dray, “Scratch Pulling”, buck jumping, various hack events, a hunter's jump, and pony jumping; pig and sheep classes; beef and dairy classes; and miscellaneous events such as best bag of maize, best farmer’s butter; best home-made bread; display of physical drill; display of vegetables; and best looking ploughman working on the ground.
John Cooke Snell was the first Show Patron and although he considered the inaugural show “impromptu”, 2,000 people attended, and the event was considered a resounding success. In less than a month, the organization responsible for this extravaganza was renamed Oakey Agricultural and Pastoralists’ Association and so our Show Society was born. The foundation Show President was John Adam Bauer, who was a wealthy and important member of Oakey township.
In 1904 Oakey A. & P. Society held the 2nd Oakey Show on September 22nd in Krull's woolshed paddock ( about 1.5 miles from Oakey township) and people came from all around. Darling Downs Gazette of September 22, 1904 reads: "The second annual gathering of the Oakey A. & P. Society will be held today. Good entries have been received in the various sections, and the show promises to be a great success. Excursion fares have been issued and visitors from Toowoomba are notified that the trains leave for Oakey at 6.40 and 12.17, returning in the evening at 7.40 and 5.47 tomorrow morning. A show ball will be held at Oakey this evening".
The days program included the ploughing competition, various horse sections and events, cattle, Glencoe School's non-competitive exhibit of farm garden produce, and a number of traders such as Rosenstengel and Kleimeyer with their sewing machines, potato peelers and stoves. McLennans of Brisbane demonstrated their Sharples cream separators, O'Brien and Fitzpatrick featured Steel Star windmills making their debut appearance. A shearing competition, woodchop and an official luncheon (at King Edward Hotel) were added to the program
Our Society later became known as the Oakey Agricultural, Pastoral and Rodeo Society Inc. and is now located on the Showground and Racecourse Reserve on the northern side of Oakey township.
On 15th and 16th March 2008, the 100th Oakey Show was celebrated, and Governor Ms Quentin Bryce graciously accepted our invitation to officially open the show. Members embarked upon a Centennial project to relocate Greenwood Hall to the Oakey Showgrounds. A Thanksgiving Service was held on Show Sunday, and the restored hall was officially opened by Patron Max Kuhl.
While the face of the district has changed since the inception of the Oakey Show Society, our local shows over time have continued to showcase the many and varied achievements of rural Oakey and district. Today, we can continue to look forward to enjoying a sense of community whilst being reminded of the incredible range of creative skills that are still obvious amongst our local populace. Check out our show schedule and see how you can join in the show celebrations as a helper, exhibitor or patron.
The Oakey Show remains an important part of the social fabric of our district. The Society is indebted to you our patrons, sponsors, volunteers and exhibitors for your support and encouragement.
(Research by Joanne Evans)