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Historian and author Rob Linn will release a book outlining the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural
Society of South Australia's history in time for the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of
South Australia's 175th anniversary next year.
HISTORIAN and author Rob Linn has
been working on documenting the his-
tory of the Royal Agricultural and
Horticultural Society of South Australia,
organiser of the Royal Adelaide Show, for the
past four years.
His book, Sharing the Good Earth, will be
released next year, in time to mark the Society's
The history of the society has not been put
in book form since the 1980s.
Rob, a society councillor, said the society
had been the backbone of agriculture, horti-
culture, and the pastoral industry since 1839 --
just three years after white settlement in South
"The University of Adelaide's Roseworthy
campus came about because of the society as
did the Adelaide Botanic Garden and the
Department of Agriculture," Rob said.
"When SA started exporting horticultural
produce to Europe, the society was a pioneer
with research on how to best ship it overseas.
They also undertook comprehensive research
on insect and disease problems.
"The society also encouraged local manufac-
turers to provide more suitable machines for
SA's climate and soil conditions."
The first Royal Adelaide Shows were held on
showgrounds off Frome Road in the heart of
Adelaide. The event did not move to its pre-
sent site at the Adelaide Showground until
"When the show was held off Frome Road,
there was an underground railway from the
train station to the showgrounds, which
showed the support the government gave to
the event," Rob said.
Archives at the showgrounds were a valuable
source of information when Rob was putting
the book together, with a treasure of minute
books dating back to 1856, and about 4000
"There are very few organisations in the
world with an archive as good as this one," he
Rob has conducted more than 50 interviews
for the book.
Many of the society's past presidents held
important places in the State's history, with a
number Members of Parliament and Lord
"In the 1920s, it wasn't uncommon for the
president of the society to be able to call up
Parliament House and see the Premier within
24 hours, which shows the importance of the
relationship," Rob said.
"Even today, the relationship between the
society and both sides of politics is very
In many instances, involvement with the
society has continued through many genera-
"It is a really exciting time for the society at
the moment," Rob said.
"There's now an incredible range of ages
involved with the society, and it's great to see
the next generation involved.
"The reason the society has survived for so
long is not only innovation, but flexibility, and
moving with the times."
Book enthusiasts have the opportunity to be
part of the show's history.
There will be 400 numbered leather-bound
editions, and anyone securing a copy will be
eligible to have their name in the book. There
will also be 600 hard-cover and 1000 soft-
cover copies available.
A commemorative wine will be released as
part of anniversary celebrations.
The 2010 shiraz has been assessed by three
of the best in the wine industry -- Huon
Hooke, Brian Croser AO and Michael
Brajkovich, who judged the 2011 Royal
Adelaide Wine Show Gramp, Hardy, Hill
Smith Prize for Most Outstanding Wine of
The wine will come as part of a package with
the leather-bound book.
RA&HS marketing manager Michelle
Hocking said a range of events were being
planned for the 175th anniversary, including a
heritage trail around the showgrounds, com-
memorative medallions for 2014 exhibitors,
and a gala dinner.
"Last year we had a record 30,495 show
entries. The previous record was 30,099 in
2005," she said.
"We're hoping to set a new record in 2014
for our anniversary year."
There is more -- all babies born during the
nine days of the 2014 Show will be given life
membership to the Royal Show.
• Details: www.rahs.com.au
SA's Royal ag society prepares for a
A SWAG of events are being planned to mark the 175th birthday of
the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia,
including the release of a book outlining its history. smartfarmer's
PAULA THOMPSON caught up with author and historian Rob Linn.
Don t miss your place in history, be a part of the Society s
175th history book 1839 -- 2014. Being written by historian
and author Rob Linn and to be launched in 2014.
In total 2,000 copies of the book will be produced; 400 leather bound, 600 hard
cover and 1,000 soft cover. A limited number of 1,000 subscriptions are available
and an order of a leather or hard cover book is required to be a subscriber.
Leather bound copies will be individually numbered and the purchase of a
leather bound book includes a bottle of commemorative wine.
The commemorative wine is a 2010 Shiraz assessed by three of the best in
the wine industry... Huon Hooke, Brian Croser AO and Michael Brajkovich
MW who judged the 2011 Royal Adelaide Wine Show Gramp, Hardy, Hill
Smith Prize for the Most Outstanding Wine of Provenance.
Secure your copy today and place an order on-line www.rahs.com.au
For further information contact: Marketing Administrator, KheShan Gronow
kgronow@adelaideshowground com au or phone 08 8210 5226
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 08 8210 5226
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