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In addition to the annual Malanda Show, the Malanda Society hosts and presents the annual Beef Cattle Handling School, the Malanda Show Ball, the the Malanda Debutante Ball and the Malanda Small Farms Field Day. The Show Society also manages the Cattle Transit Yards.

History of the Malanda Show

1916: First show held in the vicinity of the Majestic Theatre.

First Malanda Show – 1916

1920: Showgrounds shifted to present site. J K English & P J Neal cleared the land. Grandstand and Rotunda built. The Grandstand was donated by James English at a cost of L1200. The hardwood timber came from the Ravenshoe Sawmill.

1924: Post and rail fence erected around show ring. The panels of the fence were sold for 1 guinea each with the purchaser having his name on a brass plaque mounted on the panel.

1923 Malanda Show
1932 Malanda Show

1945: One day Victory Show was held on October 6.

1947: Show Pavilion was purchased. This building was an army igloo at Danbulla. Mr Walter Drury was authorized to bid on this building for the Show Society. The building was purchased for L146, dismantled and carted to Malanda and erected there by volunteer labour.

1932 Show Ball
1932 Show Ball

1948: Official opening of Pavilion. 800 people present.

1956: Show officially opened by Queensland Premier, Vince Gair.

1963: Floodlights were erected at the Showgrounds. Funds were raised by raffling a Valiant car or Ferguson tractor. Jim Stewart was the chief ticket seller.

Prize winner
Prize winner

1966: Golden Jubilee show opened by Mr W Dobson, a member of the 1916 Committee.

1981: Original Grandstand demolished, and a modern building erected in its place.

1990: New supper-room officially opened by Phil English, Eacham Shire Chairman.

1991: Seventy-fifth anniversary celebrated at Malanda will be officially opened by the President of the Royal National Association, Sir Walter Burnett.

The First Show

1916 Grand Parade
1916 Grand Parade

In 1915 using bullock teams, nine acres of virgin scrub was cleared on land belonging to the Malanda Pioneer, James English (where the Majestic Theatre now stands, adjacent to Eacham Park). On Boxing Day, 1915, a Sports Day was held here with foot races and horse events including jumping, and woodchops.

It was on this site, rent free of charge by James English, on 7th & 8th September, 1916 that the first Malanda Show was held.

First Show Committees

First Malanda Show Committee, 1916

First Show Committee
Back left to right: Ted Cassells, Mick Lynch, Mark Sims, Harry Williams, Sid Whereat, Charlie Hopkinson, Bill Soley, James English.
Second row left to right: Jack Hanrahan, Chas Bromfield, Mr Jarsden, Charlie Belson, Ted Heale, Jack Foxwell, Duncan Brown, Stan Davies.
Front left to right: Bob Emerson, Harold Farlow, Paddy English.
Not shown: West Dobson

First Ladies Committee, 1916

First Ladies Committee
Back: Dolly Johnston, Emma Bates (Mrs McGregor), Mrs Waugh (Merv Waugh’s mother) Mrs Geo Wilson, Mrs A Halfpapp, Mrs W J LSloan, Mrs Cameron (Tarzali).
Front: Miss E English (Mrs McFadden), Mrs Wallace, Mrs Dinny Moran, Miss Mary English (Mrs Hanraham), Mrs Pat English, Mrs Paddy Williams, Miss Emily Snodgrass, Miss Wettig (Mrs Wallace


“Those early pioneering days were the hardest – and best – of my life”.
Peter Kenny, Champion Axeman

“The first show, held under the auspices of the Eacham A P & I Association was favoured by fine weather and a good attendance.”…Post, September 7, 1916

At Show time, the ladies supplied meals and cups of tea under the grandstand – tank water – dirt floor – water was boiled in a copper outside the grandstand for washing up and for cups of tea on a Primus. There were a few long tables under the grandstand and long stools to sit on.
Meals – 2/- and tea and sandwiches 1/-.

1930 Supper Room
1930 – Willing helpers in the supper room on Show Days

“The Grand Parade was a most impressive spectacle. One southern visitor said it was just like a Brisbane Parade.

“Mr Bruce said he was very much impressed with the many improvements that had been made to the grounds and buildings. He remembered when the country around was all scrub and thought all should keep in mind the heavy and arduous work of the pioneers.”

“Mrs Turner has been working for the Malanda Show since the Victory Show in 1946.”


We stood and watched as one of our mates, clad in what looked like his Dad’s undershirt, climbed up onto the wooden platform in front of the boxing tent where the promoter eyed his gangling form and asked: “Do yer reckon yer can take it kid?” To which he replied: “I don’t know but I can give it.”
And he could, he was later to become known as Bronco Johnstone!

The bar was about where the present one is. Two storeys it had – a band-stand on top and the bar on the bottom – a dirt floor and hot beer served out a wooden keg – 6d. a pot. Jack Hanrahan ran bar in those early years. (The Bar 1930)

Crowds of brightly dressed people pushed us from place to place where we gazed in wonder at the beautiful girls in spangled tights, dark men eating real fire, monkeys capering about in baggy pants and little dresses, knock-em down stalls and a greasy-haired man yelling “I’ll guess yer weight and tell yer what yer weigh before I weigh yer”. Mum always beat him and seemed just a little proud that she weighed in heavier than she looked.