By Amanda Stroud
It’s fitting that a family with one of the best show pedigrees around will be teaming up with the 2014 Pambula Showgirl Emma Hassan, to officially open the Pambula Show at 12.30pm on Saturday.
Well-known local historian Angela George and her father Allan are surprisingly nervous about officiating.
“I’m that churned up about it,” Allan George admits.
“One on one I don’t shut up, but stand me in front of a mob of people and the mouth goes shut.”
Whether Allan George’s great great grandfather, an official of the first Pambula Shows held on the flats at Pambula, felt the same way back in the 1850s we may never know.
But Angela and Allan can rest assured that the crowd will be with them, especially if they share some of their anecdotes about shows past.
Allan recalls what the show meant to him as a child.
“It was just fantastic. It was probably the biggest social event of the year, on the flats down here, where the race course was,” he said.
“When you got a lot of rain you took your shoes off and sloshed around in the mud.
“The vegies and stuff that was there was just incredible, especially the corn stalks. Half of Pambula flat was covered in corn maize. There would have been an area of corn in the old pavilion, 10 to 15 foot long, with eight foot high corn stalks, carrying three or four cobs on each stalk. The local kids used to love the ‘roasters’. The committee and everyone else knew the kids would be in there. Every now and then a hand would come out and tear a cob off.
“The show was such a terrific day,” Mr George said.
Angela George is working with her dad preparing a display commemorating 100 years of Pambula Surf Life Saving Club when I caught up with them. It will be up in the Produce Pavilion on show day and is well-worth giving some time too.
Angela’s passion for local history is well-known and her Southcoasttimetraveller blog a trusted source of
“In the 1850s the first show was held down on the flat. It only lasted a couple of years. Dad’s great great grandfather was on the committee of that. When the show society was formed in 1902, I think it was, Dad’s great great grandfather and his great grandfather, then his grandfather was on the committee,” Angela George says.
Angela reflects on what’s new at the show today.
“The dog high jump was never a traditional event but it’s really attracting good support. People of all ages love it. And photography… No one had a camera back in 1902 but these days, everyone does. It’s great to see the chooks making a comeback,” she said.
“Dad’s great grandfather and grandfather donated what became the town recreation reserve on the corner of Bullara and Narregol Street. In 1939, the show started moving towards that ground but then World War 2 broke out it never happened. Dad’s great grandfather, John Henry died before the transfers could be completed to Imlay Shire Council. It was Dad’s grandfather, Jack Martin, who finished the transfer.”
“The Martins grew a lot of experimental crops on the flat for the Royal Agricultural Society,” Allan George chips in.
Father and daughter return to preparing their display. If they don’t mention it at the opening, be sure to ask them about the time a parachutist landed on great grandmother Delitha George, at one Pambula Show opening.
Or the time the watermelons went missing…