Northern Agricultural Society report for second exhibition

The second exhibition of this promising Society for the competition of grain, dairy produce, fruits, &c., took place at Mintaro on Thursday last. The Society has two exhibitions in the year, at intervals of six or seven months, the winter one being for the show of live stock, &c., and that in the summer of the kind we are about to describe.
The Society, like the Highland Society of Scotland, holds its meetings successively in the various localities of our northern highlands in which its friends and supporters are found to reside. The first of its cattle shows was held in Clare, and its first summer show in Auburn. The show of live stock, in October, 1858, was held at Watervale, and this year’s fruit and grain show at Mintaro will be followed by an exhibition of live stock at Clare.
The township of Mintaro lies about seven miles east of the mail road, and about equidistant from Auburn, Leasingham, and Watervale—the ride from the last-named place skirting the base of Mount Horrocks, and commanding one of the finest views of a rich agricultural country that can well be imagined. The village, which is in an agreeable hollow, owes its origin to the traffic of the northern smelting works along the route to Port Wakefield through Auburn; and though the transfer of coals and copper via Gawler has given a check to its prosperity, it is evidently destined to become a future town, and the centre of an active corn district—a steam flour-mill and many new buildings giving proof of its onward progress. On entering the village the previous evening in the dark, our advance was interrupted by a barrier, which not being perceived by either draught-horse or driver, had nearly put an entire stop to our making either evil or good report of Mintaro and its show. The impediment which was left during the night without any friendly indication by torch or lantern of its existence, proved in the morning to be the framework of a neat arch of evergreens, in advance of which was stretched across the road a red-letter ‘Welcome’ of handsome dimensions, under which His Excellency, who had with great readiness accepted the Committee’s invitation to be present on the occasion, was to make his entrance into Mintaro.
The morning of Thursday opened with a veil of clouds which proved throughout the day a screen from the solar beams, whilst the mild state of the atmosphere, fanned only by gentlest zephyrs, rendered the day one of the most agreeable that can well be imagined. We found the Society’s pavilion (an excellent piece of canvas and woodwork, which cost about £70), occupying a commanding site in the village; and near it another very commodious booth, devoted to the business of a refectory in connection with a cotemporary (sic) movement, which, while the exhibitors (who did not arrive on the ground till some hours later than seemed desirable) were unpacking and arranging their articles, we took occasion to visit. We allude to the Wesleyan bazaar, of which we shall say no more in the present place than that we found it most interesting, and were perfectly astonished it the immense supply and countless variety of baby-linen exhibited on the occasion. Our astonishment, however, on this head rapidly abated, as gigs, shandies, carts, carriages, and drays kept pouring into the place matrons and their little families, with many a maiden fair, while many a fair equestrienne graced the scene, till by noon there was such an assemblage of the fair sex as was calculated very much to astonish a stranger, and to justify the supporters of the bazaar in the provision they had made for the present requirements of the neighbourhood, and the immediate future, it being very probable that its entire stock of needlework will be required before the next Agricultural Show.
His Excellency not arriving till an hour past the time expected, we availed ourselves of the interval to commence observations upon the Show, which, owing to the slow arrival of the exhibitors, was not prepared for the Judges till noon, an inconvenience which it is to be hoped will be obviated next year, by making all contributors fineable who are not on the ground by 9 o’clock.
The arrangements, on entering the pavilion, were such as to present a very agreeable coup d’oeil, and to reflect credit upon the Secretary and Committee. The grain occupied the ground on the right of the marquee or pavilion, and the roots the left side; the poultry, grasses, &c., occupying the left upper corner, and the dairy produce the right upper corner; the table up the centre groaning under a superb cornucopia of Pomona, of every tint and hue. Taking our circuit from the right, we are called to remark first upon the wheats, of which there were twelve parcels shown, all good; but we may quickly dismiss this department by the remark that no one could be dissatisfied with the Judges’ decision. The first prize was awarded to a magnificent sample of beautiful bright Talavera wheat, weighing in the hand like duck-shot, and the grains as if cast in a mould. The second prize was very good, but less bright; scarcely lighter, but the seeds exhibiting a want of uniformity in the growth or form, which it is difficult to account for—either from irregular ploughing, atmospheric influence, or want of care in harvesting. The third prize appeared to be fixed exactly in its right place. Of flour we need only say that we wish all our readers had a few sacks by them such as that which was exhibited. Of the barley we would remark that it was so good as to lead to the enquiry why so little is grown in the neighbourhood. Of the oats there could be no question as to the justice of the award of prize No. 1, and of some others we would ask, why grow oats that are three-fifths husk or chaff when a mealy oat could be grown instead? The butter, when we call to mind that the Highland Society, and subsequently the British Agricultural Association and Cheshire Society, have offered premiums, and had nothing sent in in the shape of keeping butter worth rewarding, was unquestionably a very creditable show. One of the crocks salted down in November, 1858, was very good; it was, however, needlessly over-salted, hence the real flavour of the butter, which was excellent, was the less perceptible. The second prize was awarded very justly to some good butter—the taste and sweetness of which, however, was not comparable to that before noticed. There was one jar of very fair butter, the quality and consistency of which agreeably surprised us on finding that it was potted so far into the hot season as January 1st; it had however kept well since 1858. The solitary cheese exhibited was wanting in richness, and void of flavour. We can safely assert that better is to be had in the shops generally, any day of the week, except Sundays. The hams were good, especially one which was tender and well kept. The bacon was well fed and sweet. The poultry, which were miserably cooped up in tiny boxes, appeared to be nothing remarkable. The onions were conspicuous for that swift decomposing kind, the tree onion, and for two excellent samples of the red and yellow globe, calculated to last to Europe and back. There were some fine cucumbers; one of the snake kind measured in length 5½ inches. But the potatoes formed one of the best features of the Show. Seven samples were exhibited, the majority of which were excellent. The turnips, of which there was only one sample, were a remarkable specimen of a very-melancholy falling off in that valuable edible, and could only have been exhibited in order to show what nature would soon do for us if allowed to have her own way. Many fine samples of green holcus saccharatus and lucerne were shown, and some very fine carrots, cabbage, and beets. The rhubarb was short in the stalk. Various other articles we must pass over in order to give a glance at the fruits. The apples were very fine, and also the pears, of whch (sic) however the variety was limited. Of the golden pippin, which is becoming extinct in England, a very healthy sample was exhibited. A basket of coloured table grapes was much admired. In the collection of prize grapes, the Grand Turk and one or two other sorts were not ripe, and between the 1st and 2d prize collection of white table grapes there appeared not a pin to choose. The peaches were not abundant nor remarkable. For other fruits we must refer to the Judges’ report. The jams were very good, with the exception of the peaches, which were not meritorious. Two samples of wax were exhibited in high contrast to each other—the one was as remarkable for its excellence as the other for its inferiority. We were disappointed in not seeing any samples of raisins, currants, lemons, or figs—articles which, with almonds and apples, we ought by this time to have been exporting to Britain. Of melons and pumpkins there was a large show, and some of the latter of huge dimensions, respecting which we were led to ask ‘cui bono?’ The ale was said to be good, but tasted too strongly of the water that brewed it. A bag of fine golden maize attracted attention. Outside were exhibited some extraordinary samples of slate from the quarry of Mr. Thompson Priest, near Mount Horrocks. On measuring a couple of these beautiful stones, we found them to be respectively 9 feet 9 inches by 4 feet, and 7 feet by 5 feet 9 inches; and one from the same quarry, now lying at Templar’s Hotel, measures no less than 11 feet by 4 feet 7 inches. There were some fine fleeces of wool, which appear to have passed unnoticed. The wines appeared to be experiencing considerable injury from casks that were not sweet— a fault almost universal in the colony; and it is to be hoped that no objectionable wine of this kind will be sent out of the colony to the great injury of its reputation as a wine-growing country. Of some of the wine exhibited we would rather say nothing than express an opinion. The brandy, so called, was literally spirits of wine, and commercially of no value but in that capacity.
During the inspection of the Judges numbers of horsemen, many of them accompanied by ladies, pro ceeded some miles towards Auburn to meet His Excellency, who, at length, was seen descending the hill about 1 o’clock, attended by a cavalcade that would have much astonished the good people of Adelaide were they to have witnessed its entree into their city. Hundreds hastened to greet His Excellency at the arch of ‘Welcome;’ and, as he proceeded onward, the loud hurrahs wakened the slumbering echoes of Mount Horrocks in a style that will not soon be forgotten by the quiet inhabitants of Mintaro, with whom the event was one to be had in lasting remembrance, especially by the young folks. His Excellency, who was accompanied in his carriage by Mr. Masters, and by Mr. Blackmore as Secretary, was received at the enclosure of the Pavilion by the Committee of the Society, when Mr. Young, the Secretary, read to His Excellency the following address:—
‘To His Excellency Sir R. G. MacDonnell, C.B., Governor of South Australia, Vice-Admiral of the same, &c.
‘We the President, Vice-Presidents, and Members of the Northern Agricultural Society beg leave respectfully to acknowledge the honour conferred upon us this the second arrival in our district of your Excellency the representative of our Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria and our Governor, and to express the gratification which we experience in being able to welcome our patron as a visitor to our Exhibition.
‘Since your Excellency lost honoured us with your presence our Society has pursued a quiet but prosperous career. It is receiving a cordial and increasing support from the farmers who constitute the major population of our immediate vicinity, as well as from the owners of stock depastured on the waste lands. It will be the duty as well as the pleasure of the officers of the Society to increase its usefulness with increasing experience and numbers.
‘Our district is, however, still young. Ten years ago this township of Mintaro was not in existence, and six years ago there was not a fenced section and scarcely a house between this and Auburn. We cannot therefore hope that our exhibition will equal in interest those of the more advanced portions of our province; but we trust that your Excellency will find satisfactory proof that a good commencement has been made, and that your experience and more extended acquaintance with the province will confirm our belief that in the fertility of the lands which you have traversed our rapidly-increasing and industrious population have the material necessary to make every advance that can be desired.
‘The interest which your Excellency has constantly manifested in the progress of agriculture in all parts of the country, and the especial countenance with which you have honoured our Society, cannot fail to promote the object which animates your Excellency—the welfare and prosperity of our district and of the province generally that is placed under your administration.’
Three hearty cheers succeeded the reading of the address, when His Excellency replied as follows :—
His EXCELLENCY said that his visit was the best proof he could give the President and members of the Society of the interest which he felt in their proceedings. It was especially gratifying to him to learn, from the increased public support which the Society was receiving, that its objects and utility were becoming more generally and more correctly appreciated. Without that union and aid from the public generally their efforts could accomplish little; but with them there were few difficulties which they might not hope to surmount. He would not detain them now with further observations, but at once proceed to examine the exhibition of produce, which he thought would be a good test of the popularity and utility of the Society.
At the conclusion of His Excellency’s speech there was a renewal of the cheers, after the subsidence of which
Mr. GIBSON, the Postmaster, addressed His Excellency in a well-read address from the inhabitants of Mintaro of which the following is a copy:—
‘To His Excellency Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell, Knight, Companion of the Bath, Captain-General, and Governor-in-Chief of the Colony of South Australia.
‘We the inhabitants of Mintaro, beg most respect fully to give your Excellency a hearty welcome into this our township; and in the first place we would express our regret that we had so short a notice of your intended visit to us, as otherwise we should have been enabled to have manifested our loyalty in a more significant manner.
‘We as Her Majesty’s subjects, beg to express the utmost feelings of loyalty to you as her representative, and would respectfully express our gratitude to you for the great interest you evince for the general welfare of the colony in which we live.
‘We feel confident that your visit to Mintaro will be looked upon by the people as one of many proofs you have given of the alike interest you take in the prosperity of the different parts of the colony, and we cannot but feel a great degree of pleasure at seeing you here on the present occasion.
‘As Patron of the Northern Agricultural and Horticultural Society, we would thank you for the honour you have conferred upon us by being present at the Society’s exhibition held this day in our township; and,
‘In conclusion, we trust that your Excellency with this your first visit to Mintaro, will not be disappointed, but will have the satisfaction of feeling that we very greatly appreciate your kindness in visiting our township on the present occasion, and we feel sure that the interests of the inhabitants of this place and neighbourhood will not be overlooked by you.’
To this His Excellency returned an appropriate reply, couched in the most affable terms, and expressing the great gratification he felt at the loyal and hearty welcome he had received from them, and the interest he took in the advancement of their infant town and neighbourhood. A succession of hearty cheers followed from the assembled townsfolks, who, with the influx of visitors by this time, amounted to nearly 2,000 people, of which more than a third consisted of well-dressed females, the whole presenting a scene of animation and pleasurable enjoyment not easy to describe. His Excellency then proceeded to inspect the contents of the pavilion, and expressed himself highly gratified with many of its features. After spending an hour in the survey, and partaking of refreshment in a handsome tent set apart for his use, His Excellency retired to Mr. Bowman’s newly-erected mansion at Martindale, where he spent the afternoon till the hour of dinner arrived. On the conclusion of the Judges’ examination the subscribers and public were admitted to the exhibition, the non-subscribers paying 1s. each. A small band of music enlivened the scene, and the pavilion continued crowded till the hour of closing.
The following gentlemen acted as Judges:— Grain, Roots, &c—Messrs. Walter Duffleld, M.P., Gawler; and W. L. Beare, Bungaree. Dairy Produce—Messrs, Thos. Bath, Kooringa; Thomas Cox, Mintaro; Samuel Drew, Kooringa; Thomas Robinson, Penwortham. Fruits and Vegetables—Messrs. T. F. Wood, F.H.S., Evandale Nursery; Thomas Ward, Riverton; E. M. Good, Upper Wakefield; James Scutchings, Auburn. Flowers—Messrs. G. E. Williams, Auburn; James Scutchings, Auburn. Poultry—Messrs. G. Williams, Auburn; A. Sokolowsky, and W. M. Cole, Clare. Manufactured and Miscellaneous Articles—Messrs. John Brewer, Upper Wakefield; Thomas Cox, Mintaro; Thomas Bath, and Samuel Drew, Kooringa.
The subjoined are the prize-list and Judges’ reports:—
For the best 9 bushels—First prize, £4, No. 8, James Stewart, Watervale; second prize, £2, No. 10, William Goldsworthy, Clare; third prize. £1 10s, No. 5, John McDougall, Leasingham.
For the best 9 bushels—Prize, £3, No. 2, James T. Barton, Saddleworth.
For the best 9 bushels—Prize, £2, No. 2, James Stewart, Watervale.
For the best 9 bushels—First prize, £3, No. 3, William Goldsworthy, Clare; second prize, £1 10s., John Schreiner, Seven Hills College.
Best bushel—Prize, £1. No entry.
Best sample, not less than 60 lbs, in the cob—Prize, £1, John Thomas, Skillogolee Creek.
Best sample in ear—Prize, 10s., No. 1, Rev. William Wood, Penwortham Parsonage.
Best collection suited for fodder for the summer months—Prize, £1. No entry.
Best sample—Prize, £1, No. 2, Rev. W. Wood, holcus saccharatus and lucerne.
Best sample—Prize, £1, No. 2, E. M. Good, Mintaro.
Best sample—Prize, £1. No entry.
Best cwt.—Prize, £2, No. 1, John Schreiner, Seven Hills College; second best, prize £1, No. 6, James Stewart, Watervale.
Best half-cwt.—Prize, £1, Joseph Weikert.
Best half-cwt.—Prize, £1, No. 1, William Seabury, Skillogolee Creek.
Best half-cwt.—Prize, £1, No. 2, John Curnow.
Best peck—Prize, 10s. No entry.
Best sample of seed—Prize, £1, Rev. W. Wood.
Best keg or jar of 28 lbs., time when made specified—First prize, £3. No. 4, November, 1858, John Thomas; second prize, £1, No. 6, 1857, Thomas Evans, Honeysuckle Farm.
Best sample—Prize, £2, W. C. Spicer, Auburn. Only one exhibitor.
Best flitch or side—Prize, £2, No. 1, Samuel Lloyd, Pleasant Valley.
Best pair—Prize, £1, No. 2, W. C. Spicer, Auburn.
Best six bunches—First prize, £1, No. 1, Samuel Lloyd, Pleasant Valley; second prize, 10s, No. 2, Thomas Robinson, Fairfield.
Best six bunches—First prize, £1, No. 1, Francis Treloar; second prize, 10s, Wm. Hocking, Auburn.
Best collection—Prize, £1, No. 4, T. Bray, Spring Farm; nine kinds.
Best collection—Prize, £2, No. 2, John Green, Skillogolee Creek.
None exhibited.
Best dozen—Prize, £1, No. 5, Thomas Miniers, Meadows Farm; second prize, No. 2, John Schreiner.
Best dozen—First prize, £1, no award; second prize, 10s., C. B. Fisher, Hill River.
Best dozen—First prize, £1, No. 3, C. B. Fisher.
Best dozen—First prize, £1, C. B. Fisher.
Best collection—Prize, £2, C. B. Fisher.
Best dozen—Prize, £1, No. 3, C. B. Fisher.
Best dozen—Prize, £1, No. 4, C. B. Fisher.
Best collection—Prize, £2, C. B. Fisher.
Best dozen—Prize, £1, No. 2, C. B. Fisher.
Best collection—Prize. £1, No. 1, John Schreiner; three kinds—greengage, egg, and damson.
Best dish—Prize, £1, C. B. Fisher.
None exhibited.
Best 2 lbs., shelled—Prize, £1, No. 1, Wm. McKenzie.
Best dozen—Prize, 10s., C. B. Fisher.
Best dish—Prize, £l, C. B. Fisher.
Best one—Prize, £1, No. 19, A. Goldsmith; second best Prize, 10s., No. 2, Francis Treloar, Spring Vale.
Best one—Prize, £1, No. 7, William Seabury, Skillogolee; second best, prize, 10s., No. 2, Francis Treloar.
Best dozen—Prize, 10s., No. 1, J. Thomas.
Best dozen—Prize, 10s., No. 3, J. Stewart.
Best dozen—Prize, 10s.. No. 3, W. Goldsmith.
Best half-dozen—Prize, 10s., No. 1, J. Schreiner.
Best brace—Prize, 10s., No. 2, James Thomas.
Best collection—Prize, 10s., No. 1, J. Schreiner.
Best one—Prize, 10s., No. 5, W. Goldsmirth. (sic)
Best one—Prize, 10s., No. 4, J. Green.
Best one—Prize, 10s., No. 5, J. Green.
None exhibited.
Prize, £1. No award.
Best—Prize, 10s., No. 3, C. B. Fisher.
Best collection—Prize, 10s., No. 1, F. Treloar.
Wheaten, best bag—Prize, £2, No. 1, Swindon and Hannaford.
Red, best six bottles—Prize, £3, No. 2, J. Schreiner.
Best six bottles—Prize, £3, No. 3, A. Sokolowsky.
Best 18-gallon cask—Prize, £2, No, 1, J. Filgate.
Best collection, named—Prize, £1, No. 1, Thomas Robinson.
Best collection, named— Prize, £1, No. 1, W. C. Spicer.
Prize, £1—No. 1, W. C. Spicer.
Best sample—Prize, £1, No. 1, James Weikert.
Best sample—Prize, 10s., No. 4, Jas. Weikert.
None exhibited.
Best half-gallon—Prize, 10s., No. 1, G. F. Bleechmore.
Best pair—Prize, £1, No. 1, M. B. Locke.
Best pair—Prize, £1, No. 2, James Weikert.
No award.
No award.
No award.
Best one—Prize, £1, No. 1, James Dugan.
Best pair hens—Prize, £1, No. 2, J. Dickenson.
Best pair, male and female—Prize, £l, No. l, James Weikert.
Hens, best dozen— Prize, 10s., No. 2, J. Schreiner.
None exhibited.
Wheat.—The Judges in their report upon this department, express regret that many of the wheat samples were not well dressed. No. 11, Thomas Gibson’s, was a good sample, but slightly smutty. Of the barley they remark that No. 1, Mr. F. Treloar’s, was the finest sample, but badly harvested; and they speak of the prize Cape barley grown at Seven Hills College as a very fine sample. The prize mangold wurtzel, or mangel wurzel, was considered a good sample, and of the potatoes, six out of the seven samples exhibited were considered very fine, and equal to any exhibited in the colony.
The Judges of dairy articles expressed regret that the farmers did not make a more extensive dairy show. No. 3 bacon (Mr. Spicer’s, of Auburn) they pronounced good but to his cheese there was only an award of 10s. With reference to the butter the Judges had some difficulty in deciding upon the second prize, their judgment wavering between No. 1 (Mr. John Plew’s, of the Wakefield) and the prize lot No. 5. The fresh butter was not advertised, but some samples being exhibited, the Judges remarked upon it that they consider the dish of round pots numbered 1 as worthy of a prize. (We cannot give the owner’s name, as it nowhere appeared on the Society’s papers.) The report also speaks of hams No. 2 as good, and concludes with the remark that the whole of the butter exhibited was considered good.
Of the fruit exhibition the report states of the table grapes that several baskets deserved honourable mention, and that No. 4 peaches (Mr. Weikert’s, of Clare) deserved praise. The nectarines they considered inferior. Of the apples No. 1 desserts (Mr. Robinson’s) and No. 4 (Mr. A. Horrock’s) cooking apples were considered deserving, as also No. 1 pears (Mr. Robinson’s).
No remark occurs in this report beyond recommend ing for reward the cabbage, garlick (sic), shallots, horseradish, and rhubarb, and an expression of regret at the paucity of flowers.
The whole of the three samples of flour exhibited are spoken of in this report as very good. The ale was considered good, but wanting strength. The eleven different sorts of jams are all highly commended, and of the jellies No. 2 (Mr. L. Beare’s) is noticed with an expression of approbation. The preserved fruits are termed very fair, and the unsuccessful sample of honey (Mr. Green’s) is spoken of as very good. The No. 1 (Mr. A. Horrocks’s) wax is considered very good and the neatsfoot oil is a very good sample.
This report also expresses regret generally at the want of competition, and says of the turkeys and barn-door fowls that none were worthy of a prize, but they recommend No. 3, Spanish cock and two hens.
WINES, &c.
The report says that ‘the Judges think, in allusion to the wines, that if the growers paid more attention to the management of the cellar, the quality would have done credit to the northern vineyards.’ The brandy of 1858 is termed exceedingly strong and good; and the raw brandy of 1858 has the same remark attached to it, with the addition that it is considered 55 per cent. over proof.
The sum collected at the exhibition was, owing to the great influx of visitors, somewhat considerable. His Excellency, who, during his stay in the north had been the guest of Mr. Bowman, at his new residence, near Mintaro, left for Riverton at noon on Friday. The exhibition terminated to the general satisfaction of all present, and in the evening was succeeded by the Society’s dinner.
The public dinner of the Society took place on the ground floor of Smith’s Flour-Mill, now in course of erection, near the proprietor’s hotel. Mr. E.B. Gleeson, J.P., President of the Society, was in the chair, His Excellency the Governor being on his right hand; near him Mr. Bowman and the Rev. W. Wood, &c. The vice-chairs were occupied by Mr. George Young and Mr. John Brewer. The number of guests present was upwards of 90. Dinner being over, and the usual loyal toasts disposed of.
The PRESIDENT said they had arrived at that point of the evening’s arrangements when it became his pleasing duty to introduce for their gratification the health of the Patron of the Society. As their Governor he had endeared himself to them all, and as their Patron equally so; and, on the present occasion, he had laid them under a great obligation by coming amongst them after only a day’s rest since his recent wanderings by river, land, and sea. He had proved himself every inch a Governor, and as such and their Patron he could not doubt they would all cordially drink ‘Health, long Life and Happiness to His Excellency Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell.’ The toast was drunk with the greatest enthusiasm.
His EXCELLENCY, in acknowledgment of the toast which had been drunk with so much good feeling towards him, would preface the observations he intended to make by expressing the satisfaction he felt in once more coming amongst them. If, however, as their Chairman had told them, he had of late been undergoing considerable fatigue from travelling, he thought they could not expect from him a long address, which would be inconsistent with his seeking relaxation and quiet amongst his friends in the north, with whom he always found himself so much at home. (Cheers.) Of the exhibition to which they had done him the honour to invite him, he could only speak in terms of commendation. It was one of an improving character, and, therefore, cheering and gratifying. It spoke well for an infant Society and for a locality of but a few years’ growth. Gratified, however, as he had been by his reception and by the exhibition, his chief gratification, on the present interesting occasion, was found in the people themselves—in their numbers and in their general appearance—and those indications of a prosperous engagement in industrial pursuits which had presented themselves in so marked a manner to his observation. (Cheers.) The Society whose advance in useful arts they had that day witnessed was yet in its infancy, and he therefore expected from it still greater and more rapid advances, and it was quite possible that by its influence in developing the resources of the north it might in time prove the most useful and important Agricultural Society in the colony, as the vicinity of the district to great squatting districts on one side, and on the other to a splendid agricultural soil, gave it very great advantages, and ought to facilitate as well as ensure the united support as contributors and exhibitors of all classes; and it would not, therefore, surprise him if it should, in the sequel, honourably compete with the Adelaide Exhibition and Society. Agriculture was the mainstay of the general prosperity of the country—(hear)—as it gave to individuals more homes and supported a far greater number of individuals than all other pursuits united. (Cheers.) He therefore had been anxious to witness the recent exhibition of rural products in Adelaide, for he thought the Governor of an agricultural colony who did not feel the most lively interest in such meetings would be unworthy of his position. In his anxiety to be present on that occasion, he had expedited his return from his recent tour as much as possible, indeed he had ridden seventy miles during the night preceding his return to Government House; but on reaching home he found the departure of the outward mail fixed for the same day as the exhibition of the Agricultural Society, viz., the 17th inst. As he had for more than two years taken a very active part in securing for South Australia the privilege to which her geographical position entitled her—that of not being passed by the mail steamers, and obliged to send her mails to another colony out of the homeward route—he thought it right that he should himself witness the first realization of his hopes and exertions—(hear)—and he therefore decided on going to meet the Salsette, if for no other purpose than that he might himself ask the captain whether there were any further civilities which the South Australian authorities could afford him. (Hear.) Unlike some of his countrymen, he could not be in two places at once—(laughter)—and having decided upon visiting Kangaroo Island, he of course missed the Adelaide Show, and therefore on his return he was the more anxious to come amongst his friends in the north to witness their proceedings and hear what they had to say. (Cheers.) And now a word in regard to the prospects generally of the South Australian farmer. They had been fortunate in realizing in the north a nearly average crop, and getting fair prices for it, whilst, notwithstanding, the yield had exceeded that of 1857, and the north had been especially favoured. At present they had a good market for their wheat, but farmers here must look for keen competition with their Victorian brethren, as the latter, were undoubtedly making rapid advances in corn-growing. In 1854 it was calculated that about 54,000 acres were under cultivation in Victoria, but in two years afterwards that quantity was estimated to have increased 129 per cent., viz., to 179,000 acres, and we might now expect a still more rapid extension of wheat-growing and general farming on the other side of our boundary. We could not expect to enjoy a monopoly longer in that quarter, but he did not think they need dread competition. It was true the Victorians were calculating on their railways cheapening their supplies of produce by facilitating transport, but there was no reason why they should not facilitate and cheapen the carriage of South Australian produce. (Hear, hear.) Bad roads and long distances and dishonest carriers had been great impediments to the profitable transfer of their produce, but facilities would ere long be supplied them, which, by cheapening the transfer of bulky articles would increase the margin for profit. He was far from desiring to see any unworthy feeling of jealousy spring up or exist in the breasts of South Australians towards the occupants of any of the other Australian colonies—Indeed, he had no fellow-feeling with those who look with jealousy on the advance or proceedings of the other colonies, because we were all in fact—however in some respects divided for the better convenience of administration—united in our interests, and it was hardly possible for one colony to make important advances without more or less benefiting the adjacent colonies; indeed, we had largely benefited by the Victorian gold-fields. The interesting trip he had lately made up the Darling had, among other matters which it had been the means of bringing before him, satisfied him that whatever legal limits the colonies had, there were commercial boundaries created by the necessities and natural desires of mankind which paid no regard to Imperial Acts, and he believed that the commercial boundary of South Australia was being rapidly extended. In proof of the facility attending our intercourse with the most distant part reached by inland navigation, he would mention to them what he had recently written to his friend, Captain Sturt, the great explorer of these countries and the discoverer of the Murray and the Darling. He had communicated to him the fact that early on the 23rd of January he breakfasted in Adelaide, on the 27th was at the junction of the Darling, on the 6th February he slept at Mount Murchison, beyond where Sturt had his camp in 1828-29, and on the 17th of February he wrote him from Kangaroo Island. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) Now, the direct advantages which would result to South Australia were, that along the Darling and Murrumbidgee there would be an immensely increased production of wool, and every bale would have to pass through our hands as carriers on its way to its destination, whilst of flour raised by our farmers as well as other commodities there must necessarily be corresponding large return cargoes. (Hear, hear.) The supposed navigable waters of the Darling and Murrumbidgee extended a length of 3,000 miles and it was encouraging to contemplate the many thousand bales of wool that would eventually pass through South Australia from the countries lying upon those great watercourses. In speaking of the recent navigation of the Darling, he would supply an omission in all hitherto published narratives, viz., that he had the satisfaction of meeting at the station of Messrs. Reid—sons of a gentleman at Gawler, and settled a long way up the Darling—a second South Australian steamer, which had penetrated the Darling to that point. (Cheers.) Mr. Randall’s steamer the Gemini, was the pioneer of the navigation, and though Captain Cadell had fairly won the laurels, yet Mr. Randall may perhaps have since gone much higher up that river, for the navigation beyond the point where Captain Cadell’s steamer tuned, was reported to improve considerably as compared with many portions of the watercourse nearer to the junction. In drawing his remarks to a conclusion, he would not venture to say much on the subject of agriculture; but they had before them a keen contest with Victoria, and it was most important that they should avail themselves of all that science was doing for agriculture, and of all the mechanical aids that were being presented to them. It was idle any longer to speak or think of farming as a rude pursuit. It had become exalted to a science, and the chemist and philosopher were largely contributing to its aid. Reading lately some publications upon the rural progress of the County of Norfolk, he was struck with the advance which art and study had imparted to that county. In some places, where formerly, and that not very long ago, the land yielded little profit to owner or tenant, the present produce of wheat was 45 bushels to the acre, whilst three generations of sheep were produced in the same time as one formerly, and land which had been annually cropped could now support three times the population it did 25 years ago. Societies such as the one with which he and his hearers were connected had partly contributed to these results, and he hoped would do much to produce similar results here. The members must interchange with each other their local experience, which would assist in divesting them of injudicious prejudices, that were apt to spring up like weeds in a neglected soil. However naturally rich they might be, they would learn much by coming in contact with each other—for no ignorance was so confident or inveterate as isolated ignorance. (Hear, from the Chairman.) Railways and Agricultural Societies had done much in the mother-country, by bringing farmers together, to dissipate ignorance of that kind, and diffuse agricultural intelligence, and he hoped they would effect the same for South Australia. He did not think that as Patron of the Society he was going out of his position in urging greater attention and care in the course of tillage and the management of their lands—(hear, hear)—or in saying there was vast room for economical improvement; but when many of the cultivators of the soil systematically exhaust their land and lend it no aid—when thereby they diminish the capital of the country—they must pardon him if he said that such a cultivator was not merely a bad farmer, but he was scarcely a good citizen. (Hear.) He merely adverted now to the well known fact of the gradual exhaustion of a great portion of the lands of the colony. He did not presume to point out the remedy or tell them how they ought to manage their farms. There sat their Chairman, on whom, of course, that duty should devolve. (Cheers and laughter.) In conclusion he must express the lively sense he entertained of the courtesy, kindness, and loyalty with which ho had always been received by the members of the Society and the residents of the north, and, whilst wishing them every prosperity and success, he could not but repeat the strong conviction he had that their present efforts and union, if maintained, would eventually prove the best means of ensuring, as well as of deserving, that success. (Loud cheering.)
The SECRETARY, at the conclusion of His Excellency’s speech, which was listened to with the closest attention, proceeded to read the awards of the Judges, after which,
Mr. FREDERICK COWPER sang—’There’s room enough for all.’
Mr. YOUNG in a very interesting speech, then gave the toast of ‘The Parliament of South Australia.’ Mr. Peake, M.P.’s name being coupled with the toast.
Mr. PEAKE in responding, reviewed [the more popular and prominent Acts] of the Legislative Assembly, during its session, instancing the importance of the Real Property Bill by the fact of his having just sold three sections of land for £870, which property was transferred in a quarter of an hour. (Hear.) And at a cost of only one pound. (Cheers and hear.) He concluded with an expression of conviction that the members of the present Parliament had endeavoured honourably and honestly to discharge their duty as legislators. (Cheers.) He proposed, ‘The Pastoral, Mineral, and Agricultural Interests of the Colony.’
Dr. WARD proposed ‘The Successful Competitors,’ which was acknowledged in a humorous strain by Mr. McKENZIE.
At this period of the proceedings His Excellency retired amidst the vociferous cheers of the company, which presently began to lessen in numbers.
Mr. GEO. YOUNG proposed ‘The Health of the Judges,’ which was responded to by Dr. WARD and Mr. BREWER, the latter of whom proposed, in a neat speech, ‘The Health of the Secretary, Mr. Gavin Young.’
That gentleman returned thanks in a speech containing some valuable suggestions, especially that of a stud-book, which idea was well received.
Mr. PEAKE proposed ‘The Press.’
The toast was acknowledged by Mr. GRUNDY, on behalf of the ‘Register and Observer,’ and by Mr. ALLEN on behalf of the ‘Advertiser and Chronicle.’
Mr. GAVIN YOUNG proposed ‘The Health of the Committee,’ which was acknowledged by Mr. TRELOAR.
A hearty vote of thanks to the President and Chairman closed the evening’s proceedings, which, as well as those of the day, appeared to afford much satisfaction to all interested.