Since he was 14 years of age, Ron Clarke has been exhibiting at the Boorowa Show and he hasn’t missed one when the Show has been held.
Ron proudly tells us that he was born in 1928 so it is up to us to do the maths, but this wonderful achievement comes from a humble gentleman who quietly stresses the importance of participation in one’s community, and showcasing what our district produces and achieves.
As a child, Ron remembers that the old show pavilion was in the centre of the ring and it had a dirt floor.
For many years, dairy cattle and dairy products were part of the show displays and he recalls one year there was a feature display of a cow made entirely of butter.
It was in those early years he developed his love of the land and growing things – a passion that is still with him today.
In 1939, it was decided to suspend Boorowa Show competition but hold funds tagged to revive it as soon as stability returned to communities at the conclusion of the war.
That was not to eventuate quickly, and unfortunately the annual show was not held for the four years from 1940 – 1943.
Walter Thompson returned to teach at the Central School in the absence of the young teachers who went to war.
Walter began a Junior Farmers Club in 1941.
He sourced a number of very keen locals to join this club.
Ron, along with George Clark from “Bonnie Doon” were amongst the early members.
George Clark’s specialty was poultry.
The Junior Farmer’s Club showcased displays of vegetables, and Ron entered his produce.
Newspaper reports from the Boorowa News and ‘The Land” at the time record vegetables that were so unusual that they had the judges puzzled at times.
As a member of the Boorowa Junior Farmer’s Club (JFC), Ron entered his vegetables into the JFC State Championship in 1943 and was awarded 5th with 34 different vegetable varieties.
In 1944, he was awarded 2nd place in the Championship.
In 1945, the year Ron left school, the Boorowa News reported that Ron had displayed over 40 varieties of vegetables at the local show, and the judge commented that “this display was amazing in the face of such a dry year” and there were high hopes that Ron just may take out the JFC State Championship.
Ron took his vegetables on to the JFC State Championship (Div 1 – 30 to 60 sq yards) in 1945 and was awarded 1st place for 61 varieties of vegetables valued at 111 pounds.
Ron’s service to the Boorowa Show Society saw him firstly as a sheep steward when Frank Wright was the Chief Steward of the Sheep Section.
Ron then became a steward of the Fruit and Vegetable Section, and later, the Chief Steward of the Fruit and Vegetable Section.
He succeeded Jim Gorrell as the Chief Pavilion Steward.
He has judged at the small local shows that were held in the villages of the area such as Rugby and Rye Park.
Ron also began a successful Goat Section as part of the show Competition in 1978 featuring Dairy and Angora goats, and this popular section ran for many years.
Over his years as part of the show committee, Ron has been a keen competitor, a dedicated committee member, very passionate advocate for sustainable agriculture and a valuable part of his community.
Ron has been heard to mention in past years that “this year might be the last time I enter”.
As the 129th Annual Show approaches, it would not be a surprise to see Ron pop into the show office with another entry for this years show!