Lindsay Anderson is one of seven generations of the Anderson family that has been connected with the Royal Melbourne Show for over a century.
My family has been involved with the Show for well over 100 years now. The involvement’s been with Jerseys all this lifetime … I came here in my own right from ’89 onwards … I have a number of kids involved with showing at the moment.
Lindsay first came to the Show as a four-year-old and, from then on, attended each year with his father, assisting with the care and showing of their cattle. Eventually Lindsay started his own farm, and continued to come to the Show each year.
It was a long continuous stream there for quite a while. Even to the point where I was going to uni full time and coming here at night, and the lecturer would wonder why I'd go to sleep in the lecture theatre because I was just too tired.
Living at the showgrounds for two weeks of the year was an adventure for Lindsay. ‘It was a holiday to a certain extent’, he recalls, ‘my father always treated this as his annual holiday’. But it was also a lot of work, ‘because although judging would finish, you still had to look after cattle’. For many farmers, the Show was also a great social time. Lindsay remembers in the early years there was a Sunday football match between the ‘beef people and the dairy people’ in the old main arena.
The social event of it has probably always been there … there are some people who make it into a competition and tend to stay in their own, but for most people it’s a social get-together, [a chance to] compare notes, see where breeding strategies are going, what you think might happen. To a certain extent it was like a forum.
In 1996, the Anderson family was awarded the President’s Medal in recognition of 100 years of continuous exhibiting at the Royal Melbourne Show. Looking back on the importance of the Show in his life, Lindsay remarks:
It’s a major event, has been for the family…it is the Royal [Melbourne] Show…It was a definite event every year of my life…it’s been an adventure, it’s still going and not stopped yet.