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Our History

The beginnings of our annual country agricultural show...

The Keith and Tintinara District Show Society Inc. are a large group of like minded community members dedicated to helping the show and the grounds continuously thrive and grow.

Keith has a very rich history and strong community bonds that help the little town continue to put on and maintain amazing facilities and events.

Below is a small part of the Keith & Tintinara Shows History, which has been kindly compiled by Alan Morcom (Life Member & Current Patron), from the Border Chronicle (1912 – 1950) and the Border Downs Minute Book (1913-1930), held by the National Trust.

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SATURDAY, 12TH JULY 1913

1ST MEETING 

A public meeting, chaired by Mr. J B Makin, was held to form a show committee to start the Border Downs Keith Show. At that meeting, the rules from the Tatiara Show were adopted with several amendments. Membership was set at 5/- for a member and a lady and 10/6 for a member and 2 ladies. Members were to be levied an extra 2/6 to get the show off the ground.

FIRST COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

President – JB Makin, Secretary – S Hantke, General Committee – W Graves, G Witmitz, E Crozier, C Mives, H Marsh, CH Mier, AJG Gurner, J Helling, AW Shannon, J Lock, H Pearson, WH Morcom, WF Aberle, W Fullwood, S Makin, A Schultz, AV Thompson, K McMichael, E Hutchings, WG Gill, TW Dall, AF Aberle, JD Barclay, J MacIntyre, M Torr, F Packer, H Williams, W Davis, W Kennett, H Hamlyn, N Graves, H Burns, L Redman and FW Schultz.

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WEDNESDAY, 25TH MARCH 1914

#1

A balance of 16 pounds 17/- was in the bank after all expenses were paid. The show was opened by the premier of SA the Hon A.H Peak. Also in attendance was Mr. J Livingstone, MHR. In January 1915 a public meeting was called to see if the show should go on. After much discussion it was decided that it should be run.

 

President – J.B. Makin

Secretary – Sydney C Reed Hantke

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WEDNESDAY, 31ST MARCH 1915

#2

Featuring the Keith Brass Band. Big prize for the Best Lady Driver with a First Prize of 10/6. Show opened by His Excellency the Governor, who congratulated the organizers on their organization as many shows were being cancelled because of drought and war.

President – Mr. W.G Graves

Secretary – Sydney C Reed Hantke

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WEDNESDAY, 22ND MARCH 1916

#3

This was a turbulent year with a war at hand. Mr. Sydney Hantke resigned to join the Army, (May 21st 1915). At a special meeting held on February 1st 1916, Mr. E.A Fulwood also resigned as secretary stating that he didn’t have the time to do the job properly. Mr. L Redman was elected in his place. It was decided to cancel the main show that was scheduled for Wednesday March 22nd 1916 and just hold a Horse Show. That show went ahead and included Horses in Action, grain, wool, sheep dog trials and school work.

 

President – Mr. WG Graves

Secretary – L Redman

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WEDNESDAY, 28TH MARCH 1917

#4

Full front page advert for the show appeared in The Border Chronicle Friday 2nd and Friday 9th March. General Exhibition Steward W Morcom.

President –  AW Shannon

Secretary – HR Pomeroy

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WEDNESDAY, 27TH MARCH 1918

#5

Star Attraction MR. Edward Reeves. (Popular Entertainer). Special Rail Excursion fares available from Naracoorte and Murray Bridge- return tickets to last for one week. Mr. JB. Makin of “Mount Monster” was the principle sheep and wool prize winner. After this show the society was 20 pounds in debt having taken a loan of 25 pounds.

 

President – Mr. A W Shannon

Secretary – Mr. W. A. Crouch

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WEDNESDAY, 26TH MARCH 1919

#6

This event featured a Grand Concert and convenient train schedules for visiting patrons. The show was opened by Mr. J. Livingstone, MHR and Mr. V.G. Petherick, MP. They commented on the outstanding exhibits of grain and chaff . The society had 68 financial members at this time.

President – JB Makin

Secretary - HV Gregory

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WEDNESDAY, 24TH MARCH 1920

#7

The train ran late so the show opening was delayed. All returned soldiers were given full members privileges.

 

President – JB Makin

Secretary – HV Gregory

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WEDNESDAY, 16TH MARCH 1921

#8

150 Guineas was offered in total prize money with 21 guineas for Special Show Jumping. Prize Winners for Dogs: Rough Haired Sheep Dog – TW Cook, Smooth Haired Sheep Dog – SRB Makin, Staghound TN Skinner, Greyhound C Nash, Fox Terrier R Guerin, Pomeranian Mrs Smith.

 

Patrons of the show – Hon. J. Livingstone, MHR, Sir Lancelot Stirling, Hon. John Cowan, Mr. P Reidy, MP, Mr. V.G Petherick, MP.

President – JB Makin,

Secretary – LH Densley

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WEDNESDAY, 15TH MARCH 1922

#9

VG Petherick, MP opened the show, even though it was in the middle of a long, dry spell and the conditions were dry and dusty it was still very well attended by over 300 people. The Border Chronicle Rep had to leave early to catch his train back to Bordertown. Mr JB Makin, Mrs S Makin, Mr WH Morcom are made Life Members. Entry Fee 10/6.

 

President – JB Makin

Secretary - HC Nagel

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WEDNESDAY, 14TH MARCH 1923

#10

A large number of visitors came to this show because the railways put on a special goods train with passenger accommodation and a special rail pass for the show. P Morcom broke his shoulder when his mount fell during the show jumping. The grapes at this year’s show were outstanding. Some visitors complained that they couldn’t easily get a cup of tea; the show committee would rectify this problem at future shows.

President – JB Makin

Secretary - HC Nagel

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WEDNESDAY, 12TH MARCH 1924

#11

A large marquee was set up on the grounds to cater for lunch and afternoon tea, all the proceeds from the sale of the refreshments was to go to The Tatiara Soldiers Memorial Hospital Bordertown. It was noted there was only one entry in the Pig Section, a beautiful baconer entered by BH Kennett. Entry Fees: Children 1/6, Adults 7/6, Cars 2/6, Members & Lady 10/6, Members, 2 Ladies + Free entries 21/-

 

President – JB Makin

Secretary – HC Nagel

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WEDNESDAY, 30TH SEPTEMBER 1925

#12

After much discussion it was decided to change the show time from autumn to hold a Spring Show. This proved to be very financially successful. Luncheon and afternoon tea was available on the grounds. A special Stud Sheep Sale was held as part of the afternoon’s activities.

President – JB Makin

Secretary – LH Densley

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THURSDAY, 23RD SEPTEMBER 1926

#13

Before changing to a Spring Show it was suggested that they should go into recess for a time but the change had been a good one. The day was changed from Wednesday to Thursday because the train time tables were more suitable. This year the horses were judged by Mr. Syd Perry from Adelaide as he was a renowned horse judge. The Kybybolite Experimental Farm had a very large educational exhibit which took up nearly all the western side of the hall. This year’s show had a car driving contest where the driver had to negotiate a course with speed and skill. If the driver ran over a flag he had 10 minutes added to his time. Mr. Sid Makin was to set up the course and oversee the event with Mr. McClellane.

 

President – JB Makin

Secretary – LH Densley

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THURSDAY, 15TH SEPTEMBER 1927

#14

This was a well patronized event making Keith the “Desert Capital” as the carpet of green made it much more attractive than a dry dusty Autumn Show. There were so many indoor exhibits that they had to improvise using petrol crates and planks to display all the entries. Due to the special rail concessions and special goods train accommodation large numbers of visitors came from the south

President – JB Makin

Secretary – LH Densley

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THURSDAY, 20TH SEPTEMBER 1928

#15

Events include Sheep Show, Sheep Dog Trials, Show Jumping, magnificent indoor displays. A special trophy was donated by B McBain for the winner of the Hunter Class 6:1. This show proved to be the most successful show held by the Border Downs A.H&F Society to this date, there was very keen competition, record Horse and Sheep entries. The judge for the Sheep was overwhelmed by the Quality, the Sullivan Bros. Swept the board in all classes carting off 41 prizes. There was a very large attendance at the evening’s entertainment.

 

President – JB Makin

Secretary – H Densley

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THURSDAY, 26TH SEPTEMBER 1929

#16

This was a well patronized event making Keith the “Desert Capital” as the carpet of green made it much more attractive than a dry dusty Autumn Show. There were so many indoor exhibits that they had to improvise using petrol crates and planks to display all the entries. Due to the special rail concessions and special goods train accommodation large numbers of visitors came from the south

President – JB Makin

Secretary – LH Densley

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THURSDAY, 2ND OCTOBER 1930

#17

An excellent Show with gate takings up on the 1929 show. Mr Williams dog Battle won the sheep dog trial yarding his sheep in 12 minutes. Mr Densley’s dog Scottie got through the course using all his time to come second. At the Concert JB Makin thanked everyone for their support at this year’s show, then AW Shannon proposed a vote of thanks to the show committee for the work they do, this was seconded by AI Densley. Fees for sideshows was set at 10/6 and farm machinery 5/-

 

President – JB Makin

Secretary – LH Densley

1931 & 1932 SHOWS CANCELLED

On Friday 11th & 18th September 1931, a Cancellation Notice was issued in the Border Chronicle by President JB Makin & Secretary AWM Dellow. No reason for the cancellation of the show was given. This is the same given to the 1932 annual show.

President - JB Makin

Secretary - AWN Dellow

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THURSDAY, 16TH MARCH 1933

#18

Page 3 of the Border Chronicle March 24th 1933 reads – After canceling the 1931 show and not holding a 1932 show, disappointment was expressed that locals didn’t support the show; I quote “From an attendance point of view at the fixture, it was some what disappointing that apparently it did not have the full support of its own community. A big section of the small attendance was made up of visitors.”

President - JB Makin

Secretary - AWM Dellow

1934 - 1942

There are no records of a show being held between 1934 to 1942.

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SATURDAY, 16TH MARCH 1943

#19

CWA Austerity Events were held to raise funds for our troops serving overseas. This show was held to raise money for our troops overseas so that they may be able to have a few extras while they were doing it tough in the trenches. The show featured a full line up of indoor exhibits plus dressed ducks, turkeys, chooks and sheep. The prize winners were give war coupons so they could buy the extra things they needed. The exhibits were auctioned at the end of the day with the proceeds going to the comfort fund. A total of 36 Pounds and 15 Shillings was raised. S Makin donated the hall hire. Local people were instructed on making camouflage nets.

 

President – WE Gill

Secretary – CD Ellis

1944 & 1945 SHOWS CANCELLED

The 1944 and 1945 shows were cancelled, due to the war.

On the 31st January 1945, the Keith Community Centre was formed.

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SATURDAY, 9TH MARCH 1946

#20

CA Cook was appointed as Chairman. 1st Community Centre Sports Gymkhana and Indoor Show Saturday March 9, 1946. This featured a full indoor display. Full report Border Chronicle March 21, 1946.

President – CA Cook

Secretary – GD Moseley

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SATURDAY, 7TH SEPTEMBER 1946

#21

Exhibits of wool, fodder, grain, dairy produce, cooking, sewing, needlework

 

President – CA Cook

Secretary – GD Moseley

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SATURDAY, 4TH OCTOBER 1947

#22

Events: Sheep Dog trials, Horses in action, Ugly Man competition final, Grand Dance including a Ballet. Winning results for the Ugly Man: Winner CA Davis – 46834 Votes, 2nd CH Hender – 31550, 3rd OR Williams – 24666. The winner was crowned and given a long flowing robe by the Honorable Archbishop Cartwheel (Guy Wheal).

President – CA Cook

Secretary – GD Moseley

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SATURDAY, 30TH OCTOBER 1948

#23

A full compliment of indoor and outdoor exhibits. Entries received – 706.

 

President – CA Cook

Secretary – GD Moseley

SATURDAY, 8TH OCTOBER 1949

#24

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Featuring Army Unit Demonstration at 11am.

President – CA Cook

Secretaries – GD Moseley & A Nottage

since 1950...

1951: On 16th March, the Keith & District Show Society was formed.

1963: The new Showgrounds was first used (the grounds we use today).

1967: The group was re-established as the Keith & Tintinara Show Society.

2008: The group was re-established as the Keith Country Fair & Show.

2012: The very first Diesel & Dirt Derby was held in the Showgrounds.

2016: The group was re-established as the Keith & Tintinara District Show Society IncSpitwater Arena was built and officially established, for use of the Australian V8 Superboat Championship. Drivers got to test out the track, and highly recommended to grow grass on the track. The first outing of V8 Superboats was highly successful. It has been rated as one of the world's best tracks.

2018: The Keith & Tintinara District Show Society Inc. held the World Title V8 Superboats Series over 2 days at Spitwater Arena. Competitors from USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia came over to compete and fight for the World Title.

2020: Both the Show and Diesel & Dirt Derby were cancelled, due to global outbreak of COVID-19.

2021: The Keith & Tintinara District Show Society Inc. held a smaller and modified version of the Diesel & Dirt Derby, and named it Keith Revved Up. This was to accommodate the COVID-19 restrictions and rules around social interaction out in public, whilst providing entertainment. The annual show was cancelled again.

2022: The Keith & Tintinara District Show Society Inc. held an event showcasing the V8 Superboats in March, and back in the swing with holding its annual show again in October.

2023: The Keith & Tintinara District Show Society Inc. held the final Diesel & Dirt Derby event. At the AGM, it was discussed and decided that they would shift the annual show back into March.

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