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Royal Darwin Show

With 70 years of Royal Darwin Show history, tradition and community spirit to celebrate this year, Off The Leash put the call out for people’s first or best memories from this beloved event. Here’s some of the gems that came in!

Costa Karaolias – Age 65
My first memory of Darwin Show was in 1962. My brother, mum and I had just arrived from Cyprus in 1962. Dad had arrived the year before.

As a six-year-old, Darwin was a totally different world to say the least. My uncle took us to the Show, although I didn’t know what that was given I didn’t speak a word of English. We were driven onto a large dirt area and went through a big shed. To us, it was massive, and inside were all these flower stalls and other items that were very bright to my eyes.

Marcia Izod Davis – Age 80
My first memory of the Show was that we were actually going to have one! My father was to have a display stand and my mother potted plants in oil drums as part of the decoration.

My brother and I snuck into the boxing tent and watched people fighting. When we told our mum we’d done that, she was horrified! As a teenager it was an entirely different experience, all about getting dressed up and having a fun time with friends.

Laurie Timms – Age 66
There’s been five generations of my family attending the Darwin Show over the years.

My brothers and I were free to roam the Show while dad was on call [as the electrician]. My grandfather would pull up a seat at the bar beside the main [boxing] ring. My mother had a stall there one year selling gemstone jewellery which my parents had fossicked for all over the Territory, and my grandmother was a member of the CWA so would be serving tea and scones.

My favourite memories would have to be the rides at sideshow alley, sartees from the Chung Wah Society, eating fairy floss and lot and lots of dust.

Michelle Howard – Age 71
I’ve been to every Darwin Show from when I was little, I’ve only missed a few, when I was away travelling. I used to love the fairy floss and the dolls on a stick. Mum always used to get a seat at the chocolate wheel run by Rotary, tried to win us a prize.

They always used to have a new thing for sale we didn’t have in Darwin, like those peelers for your veggies, lots of samples they were flogging of things from down south. When I used to take my kids, they used to have the bagpipes playing and one of kids used to scream like hell. I’d say ‘it’s okay bub,’ but she hated it!

Now I take the grannies. I’ve got 10 grandchildren and 10 great grandkids.

Royal Darwin Show

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