Enjoying The Ekka

The first Brisbane Exhibition "The Intercolonial Exhibition of 1876" was held almost 140 years ago.  Variously called The Show, The Exhibition, The Ekka, The RNA Show, The Brisbane Exhibition and The Royal Queensland Show, it has been held almost every year since then.

Two young girls enjoying themselves at the RNA Show, 1946. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 102785

Two young girls enjoying themselves at the RNA Show, 1946. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 102785

Stubborn young Hereford being unwillingly led by his attendant, RNA Show, Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 193909

Stubborn young Hereford being unwillingly led by his attendant, RNA Show, Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 193909

Last minute attention for a cow before judging at the RNA Show, Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 193912

Last minute attention for a cow before judging at the RNA Show, Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 193912

The only cancellations were in 1919 (due to the influenza epidemic) and in 1942 when the showgrounds were used as a staging depot.

Annual report 1919




Annual report 1919




Winner of the woodchopping competition at the Brisbane Exhibition, 1907. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image API-105-0001-0011

Winner of the woodchopping competition at the Brisbane Exhibition, 1907. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image API-105-0001-0011

State Library of Queensland has a wide range of historical material related to the Ekka, from the first official catalogue in 1876 to long runs of annual reports, hundreds of photographs and even memorabilia such as this souvenir handkerchief from 1891.

Brisbane Exhibition Building Souvenir Handkerchief 1891. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Brisbane Exhibition Building Souvenir Handkerchief 1891. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

 

Browse Ekka materials in One Search, the library catalogue

A set of photographs of the Ekka from times past is also available on Flickr Commons

The Ekka website has been archived by the State Library for a number of years. You can view the site over time on PANDORA, the web archive.

Explore the Ekka images on Historypin via the map. Click on the image and contribute your own story in the comments section.

More information

Showtime : a history of the Brisbane Exhibition by Joanne Scott (UQ Press, 2008)

Links

Royal National Association website

RNA Annual reports online - most reports from 1892 to 2012

RNA Show 1964 (video from collection of State Library of Queensland)

Ekka (Wikipedia)

Ekka (Official website)

Joan Bruce - Queensland Literature Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

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