1871 saw the National Agricultural Society of Victoria (NASV) host its first show on the St Kilda Road showgrounds, but it was the show in 1874 that was regarded as the most noteworthy.
The Hon. Robert Simson MLC was elected to the first council of the National Agricultural Society of Victoria in 1871, and was made president in 1872 and again in 1874 for what was described as the most successful show Melbourne had ever seen.
The introduction of a sheep shearing competition, a record number of machinery and implements on display and a donation of a large sum of prize money from the government resulted in sky high entries, stock exhibits and visitors.
Robert Simson was one of the very earliest Victorian colonists and was known well as an importer and breeder of pure stock. His estate, ‘Langi Kal Kal’ was distinguished as one of the best properties in the Western District of Victoria at the time.
He was elected president a final time in 1880 and served nine terms as vice president during his time with the Society. He later died of paralysis at age seventy-seven, leaving no family but a strong legacy on the early history of Victoria and its agricultural Society.