The 1956 flood of the Murray-Darling Rivers devastated many towns across Victoria, but the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria found a way to let the Show go ahead.
Thomas Norman Mitchell served as President for The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria from 1953-1956.
He was also the managing Director of Agricultural Implements Manufacturers and Vice President of the Victorian Chamber of Manufacturers from 1950-69.
Although only a three year term, he left a lasting legacy on the show movement in Victoria when, in 1956 many parts of the state had suffered considerably from serious flooding.
The Society was very concerned about the impact the floods would have on the Show. Surprisingly, more than 21,000 entries still came forward.
Rain also dampened the show and caused a decline in attendances that year. Nonetheless, more than half a million guests flowed through the gates.
After that year, the Society considered altering the dates of the Show but almost 70 years on it’s still a late September feature on the calendar.
Unfortunately due to a severe set-back in health, Thomas Mitchell was unable to continue in this position, which was filled by the senior Vice-President, Judge Norman F. Mitchell.