Royal Agricultural Society of WA president David Thomas and his wife Sharon welcomed WA Governor Chris Dawson and other distinguished guests, including a select group of Perth Royal Show livestock exhibitors, for an afternoon of high tea in the lead-up to announcing the Governor’s Cup winner. Speaking at the event at the RASWA Councillors’ Lounge on October 1, Mr Thomas said there were few institutions which could trace their origins to the first years of the Swan River Colony. “Still fewer can claim such a long and distinguished history as the Royal Agricultural Society of WA,” he said. “The pioneering families from our State’s early history were the same families who established the RASWA, nearly 190 years ago in 1831.” He said the event with which the RASWA is most synonymous — the Perth Royal Show — first took place in 1834 under the banner of The Fair and Cattle Show. “The early Shows were held in Guildford, 12km northeast of the modern CBD, with society’s regular meetings being attended by the likes of Sir James Stirling, the first Governor of WA,” Mr Thomas said. “In 1890, Her Majesty Queen Victoria granted permission for the society to assume the title of Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia and as a consequence, the first truly Royal Show was held later that year. Mr Thomas said in 1902, the State Government granted RASWA new land in the growing town of Claremont in which the society would move its yearly Royal Show in 1905. “The Claremont Showgrounds, in which we celebrate the Governor’s Cup winners today, has been the home to the RASWA and the Perth Royal Show ever since,” he said. This cup is awarded each year to the exhibitor with the most points in the livestock exhibits and rewards both excellence and consistency while also promoting the quest for higher standards. Mr Thomas said he was delighted in the success of this year’s Show and the finalists it produced to award the exhibitor with the most points the Governor’s Cup trophy. He gave his congratulations to the Squiers family, of Shirlee Downs and Dongadilling studs in Quairading, for their 10th win. During the official announcement on the main arena, the Governor presented the family with the Cup. “The Show has endured as an icon of WA life, attracting crowds of up to 400,000 each year and welcoming agricultural communities from across WA into the very heart of the city,” Mr Thomas said. “The event’s focus remains firmly rooted in the celebration of agricultural excellence across a wide array of industries.” Mr Thomas said the RASWA was committed to education and using the Show as a vehicle to raise awareness of rural issues, careers in agriculture and the provenance of food, particularly among young people. “RASWA and its initiatives act as a conduit to bring rural and metropolitan WA together — not merely during the eight days of the show — but throughout the year,” he said.