Northern Agricultural Society

A general meeting of the subscribers and friends of the above was held at Greenslade’s, Watervale, on Wednesday, the 1st July, at 5 o’clock p.m., to take into consideration a motion proposed by the hon. Secretary, Mr. A. King, to the effect that owing to the decreasing amount of support given to the Society by those who should be most interested in its success, it is desirable to bring the Society to a termination. E. B. Gleeson, Esq., the President, occupied the chair. There was a very good attendance, including representatives from Clare, Mintaro, Auburn, Rhynie. The pastoral interest was represented by Messrs. E. B. Gleeson, John Jacob, and L. Giles.
The President took the chair about 6 o’clock, and opened the proceedings by reading the placard convening the meeting. After clearly explaining the object for which they had been called together, he expressed his regret at the contemplated dissolution of a Society which had started under such favorable auspices. He trusted the gentlemen present, and he was very happy to see so many, would well and temperately discuss the motion in question, and he trusted that before the meeting broke up they would arrive at a determination adverse to the motion.
Mr. King, the hon. Secretary, then rose, and after reading his notice, for which the meeting was particularly called, expressed his regret that the want of assistance from those who should have interested themselves in the success of such a society, should compel him to propose this motion, and he felt sure that this regret would be felt by all of those around him; but it was evident from the present state of the funds that unless the society be remodelled, and the prizes considerably reduced, it would be impossible to go on; but the next difficulty that presented itself to his mind was, whether in event of the prizes being reduced, we should not lose a considerable amount of the really genuine support we at present receive. At all events he trusted everyone present would express their opinion on the subject, and before sitting down he might say this much, that in the event of the meeting determining to carry on the society on any basis that seemed practicable he should still be willing to undertake the duties of hon. Secretary, but in the present state of affairs he had felt it his duty while the society was in a solvent condition to call the present meeting.
Mr. Jacob asked the Secretary if the income could be guaranteed at £160. The Secretary replied that under any circumstances the income could be guaranteed at £150.
Mr. Jacob then rose and seconded the motion of the Honorary Secretary. He expressed his regret, as one of the Vice-Presidents, at the unpleasant nature of the business that called them together; also at the want of interest shown by those who reaped the greatest amount of benefit. He seconded the motion on the ground that there was no prospect of discharging our liabilities without selling our Tent, &c., and he would prefer to see that done than the Society should incur any farther debts.
Mr. J. H. Bleechmore moved an amendment, to the effect that the Society be carried on with premiums reduced in accordance with the income of the Society. His opinion was that the reducing of the amount of the premiums would make no difference in the success of our Shows—that the same spirit of competition would prevail, and also that from this meeting a new era would arise for the Society.
Mr. Leonard Giles seconded the amendment, and expressed his approbation of it. He quite agreed with the remarks of the last speaker as to reducing the premiums, and also in the opinion that the reduction would not interfere with the competition at the Shows.
Mr. T. Priest, of Mintaro, expressed himself favour able to the amendment, and coincided in the views expressed by Mr. Giles, the seconder of the amendment.
Mr. Brewer doubted if the premiums were reduced the Society would go on as well as formerly.
The Honorary Secretary explained that the Society could go on with reduced premiums, but he doubted if the objects of the Society could be carrid out, viz., the improvement of stock and agriculture; but as far as carrying on the Society for the few pleasant gatherings it afforded, if the meeting agreed to carry it on on such a basis he should be happy still to identify himself with them.
The Chairman suggested they might do away with the prizes for imported stock, and dispose of the whole of the income among local objects.
Mr. Treloar regretted, with others, the contemplated doing away with the Society, and expressed his opinion that the amount of the prizes had been too large from the commencement. He felt quite certain that with reduced premiums and some additional energy on the part of the members, the Northern Agricultural Society might still flourish.
Mr. Brewer again spoke in favor of the amendment.
The Hon. Secretary explained that if the Society was still carried on it would be necessary to at once pay off the present liability.
Dr. Davis considered that many views might be expressed looking very feasible, but the only practical way to look at the matter was first of all to pay the amount at present due by the Society—about thirty pounds.
Mr. James Brown understood at the commencement of the meeting, from the Secretary, that he was in a position to pay all arrears.
The Secretary explained that what he stated was that if everything belonging to the Society was sold he should be in that enviable position.
Dr. Davis suggested that a special subscription be raised for the purpose.
The Hon. Secretary proposed a resolution to that effect. Mr. Brewer seconded.
A list was then passed round the room, and the sum of £22 4s. 6d. was subscribed in a few minutes.
The Hon. Secretary then rose, and addressing the President, said it gave him great pleasure to see the liberal response made to the calll, (sic) and in consequence of that liberality he felt great pleasure in withdrawing the motion proposed by him.
The Chairman expressed the pleasure he felt at the result of the appeal.
Mr. Giles proposed a vote of thanks to the Hon. Secretary for the trouble he had taken in bringing the matter forward. Mr. Treloar seconded. Mr. Brewer, the President, and others, spoke of the admirable manner in which Mr. King had conducted the affairs of the Society. The vote of thanks was unanimously carried. Mr. King returned thanks in suitable terms.
It was proposed and seconded that the President and Vice-Presidents—Messrs. E. B. Gleeson, John Jacob, Q. Young, M.P.. T. Robinson, John Brewer, E. Bowman, G. S. Kingston, M.P., and Thomas Giles, be re-elected. Carried unanimously. The President and Vice-Presidents returned thanks. It was also resolved that all subscribers of one guinea be members of the General Committee. Carried. Mr. Brewer proposed a vote of thanks to the President in eloquent and forcible terms. Mr. Treloar seconded. Carried unanimously.
The President returned thanks, and stated his intention to do more than he had done for the benefit of the Society. He had always given his best efforts, and now that the Society was in difficulties he should feel it his duty to increase those efforts.
The general meeting of the Committee to revise the prize list was fixed for Saturday, the 11th, at 3 o’clock p.m.
The meeting then closed.