Illawarra Feature Show at Mount Pleasant, SA, celebrates 60 years

Kiara Stacey
By Kiara Stacey
March 12 2022 - 7:00pm

In 1961 the first Illawarra Feature Show was held at the old Mount Pleasant showground after the SA branch of the Illawarra Cattle Society - formerly Australian Illawarra Shorthorn Society - thought it would be a good idea to begin Illawarra autumn feature shows, and hold them in the country.

As Mount Pleasant Show was in March and in a dairying area, they thought it was appropriate to approach the show society.

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Colin Altmann was on the committee that started the feature show at Mount Pleasant and recalls that many members took part in busy bees to erect tie-up rails through a line of pine trees as well as along the fence line, and extra troughs were installed.

Colin's son and this years judge David Altmann said he had fond memories of Illawarra showing at Mount Pleasant growing up.

"Especially the fact that knowing that dad was there to start, and yeah, for me to come back and do it on a significant year being sixty this year, is a great honour," Mr Altmann says.

"In regards to the photo you mentioned, I have never ever forgotten that moment.

"That obviously was embedded with me because I was quite young and that was certainly a very special moment that I still remember like it was yesterday."

It's always a great atmosphere at Mount Pleasant.

- David Altmann

Mr Altmann said the whole dairy industry had been decimated over the past 20 years.

"The show is not like it used to be but the ones that are going obviously, have still got the passion and keep it going," he said.

"I hope it does keep going because I think it's one of the best country shows going around to be honest.

"It's always a great atmosphere at Mount Pleasant."

The first Champion Cow was Glenella Primrose 7th, owned by AT Braendler, Hahndorf and the most decorated cow was the four times champion Lynonga Sterling Flower the fourth, owned by the Llewellyn family, Mypolonga.

Bull classes were also a big part of the show.

At a meeting in 1967 the Illawarra Society paid for a 24 foot by 12 foot concrete slab, fitted with tie-up rails and complete with four taps and a hose, as a memorial to the late Melvyn Mueller, who had initiated the idea of the Feature Show in Mount Pleasant.

Eventually the major breeds Jersey, Holstein, Guernsey, and Ayrshires also held their autumn shows at Mount Pleasant.

Over the 60 years Illawarra judges have come from New Zealand and all states in Australia, and exhibitors have come from the South East, the bottom of the Yorke Peninsula, the Adelaide Hills, Murray lands, Northern Adelaide and the Mid-North.

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In 1978 Mount Pleasant show was transferred to its present location of Talunga Park where it has been for the past 44 years.

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Kiara Stacey

Kiara Stacey

Journalist

Journalist for Stock Journal. Kiara was in classified sales at Stock Journal before joining the editorial team. Kiara completed a Bachelor of Communication (journalism) at Deakin University in 2020.

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