Thomas Patterson played an integral part in the early years of the agriculture show movement in Victoria.
In 1870, the National Agricultural Society of Victoria was formed from the disbanded Port Phillip Farmers' Society. A successful cattle breeder, Alexander Patterson served as a councillor for 16 years and imbued in his son a devotion to the movement. His son, Thomas became secretary from 1880 until 1910, totalling three decades of service to Melbourne Royal.
Thomas Patterson was a driving force behind the Journal of the National Agricultural Society, serving as its first editor from 1885.
Mr Patterson’s commitment to the agricultural show movement didn’t end there. He served as secretary for the first Federation of Agricultural Societies where he was quoted saying he believed that ‘we should be the custodians for all flock, herd and stud books of Victoria’. He was also the first secretary for the Chamber of Agriculture.
In 1871, the first Show was held at the new showgrounds site on St Kilda Rd. It remained there until the State Government granted 30 acres in Ascot Vale to the Society in 1882. The first Show was moved to the new location the following year in 1883 and remains the location today. Mr Patterson supervised that change.
Mr Patterson died in 1948 at the age of 95.