Fun for all Junior Farmers

Bert MaddockCountryman

This is a photo of Junior Farmers that was taken in 1948 at the Fremantle Wool Stores.

The Junior Farmers, myself included, were on a tour of the wool stores as part of their trip to Perth to help out at the Royal Show.

I thought Countryman might ask its readers if they are among the people in this photo, or know of any one who was?

I was 17 years old in 1947, and I treasure the memories of the days when I was a member of the Mukinbudin Junior Farmers’ Club.

Junior Farmers members from all around the State were invited to the Royal Show to act as junior stewards and assist in the various sections of the show. One of main tasks was leading stock around the showground.

In my first trip to the Royal Show in 1947, the boys were billeted in the cattle herdsmen’s huts behind the cattle stalls. Some young men even slept in the empty stalls!

In the following year, two large marquees were put up and we slept in swags on the ground.

There was a storm one night and the girls’ marquee blew down — of course, they had to be rescued!

I used to look forward to driving into town in the old farm ute to the fortnightly Junior Farmers’ meetings, which gave country kids the chance to socialise with others of the same age group and to meet members from the neighbouring towns.

I still have fond memories of the Junior Farmers and friends from the 1940s and 1950s.

Being a Junior Farmer in those days was great, because it was the one and only organisation for young country people. It prepared us for many challenges later in life.

Of course, we didn’t have the luxuries of today, such as mobile phones, nice cars or televisions, but we managed very well. I suppose we didn’t know the difference, so we were just happy with our life as it was.

Readers of my vintage will remember how WA was going through a major redevelopment in the 1940s and 1950s, and it wasn’t too difficult to start up a business or select a conditional purchase block from Dandaragan to Esperance. Many country people and returned soldiers took up that challenge.

I always thought it was the best period of my farming days, even though many had to put up with living in the corner of a machinery shed until the farm was developed further.

What happened to all those years? How times have changed!

I am sure the next 65 years will be just as exciting and challenging and county folk will enjoy a bright future — here’s hoping for the best.

'''Bert Maddock

25 Stratton Street,

Hamilton Hill, 6163'''

If you were in the above photo, or know of someone who was, please contact Bert Maddock on 9335 5262

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