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The Agricultural Society was founded in 1831. It met in Guildford in what it considered to be the best hotel at any given time, first at the Dodds' Cleikum Inn, then at Jones's hotel (on the Woodbridge Hotel site) and then at Devenish's.
This Perth Hotel was the gathering place for the inaugural meeting of what is now the Royal Agricultural Society. Since most of the members lived in Guildford or on their farms in the Swan area, it was decided that tedious travelling would be avoided in future if the meetings were held at Guildford. One historian has claimed that the first meeting was held at Dodd's Cleikum Inn, but further research shows this to be an error. The first Guildford rendezvous of this society was at George Williams' inn which is thought to [have been] at the Woodbridge farm (later occupied by Walter Jones and Jonathon Jecks as a hotel and later by J. Seabrook) but I have never been sure of the exact location of this farm house.
This rendezvous is verified by an advertisement in the Perth Gazette showing that on 1st March 1833 a meeting was held in Williams' inn at Guildford with Whitfield in the chair, and in May, the secretary Ridgely called a special meeting at the same place for the 21st instant; another notice in June of the same yean announced that the quarterly meeting was also held at George Williams', with Tanner in the chair. (Tuckfield 1971: 75-76)
The Agricultural Society of Western Australia founded in 1831 came to be of increasing importance in the affairs of the colony. In the absence of elected representatives to the Legislative Council it came to function as a kind of alternative, unofficial house of Parliament, and discussed matters of general interest only indirectly connected with agriculture. It held four quarterly meetings at Guildford every year, and at the end of each year compiled an annual report on the agricultural progress of the colony which it presented to its patron, the Governor. The meetings were held throughout 1833 at Mr George Williams’ inn at ‘Garden Hill’, situated on the riverside near the centre of Guildford. After each meeting, which was held on a Friday afternoon, a dinner was held for fhe members at the inn. (Bourke 1987: 89)
Bourke, Michael J. 1987, On the Swan: a History of Swan District, Western Australia, UWAP for the Swan Shire Council, ISBN 0-85564-258-0.
The above clippings have been taken from a website called Beyond the Name, in a section called Speed the Plough WA. Many more such may be found there.
Garry Gillard | New: 9 September, 2021 | Now: 11 December, 2023