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Dateline Cowichan: When Cowichan was feeling kinda sheepish
In a few years, we’ll be celebrating the 150th Cowichan Exhibition. But the venerable Cow Ex hasn’t been the only livestock fair in Cowichan history.
In 1927, the Provincial Sheep Promotion Committee held the first Vancouver Island Sheep Fair at Duncan. Trumpeted as an unqualified success, it attracted 90 purebred sheep on exhibit and 40 purebred rams for sale at auction.
At the “old” agricultural hall were also 15 pens, of five each, grade ewes for exhibit for private sale; nine pens, of five each, ewe lambs; and 90 grade breeding ewes for sale at public auction. Most were Shropshires with the best entries by Capt. J. Douglas Groves, Westholme and Mr. G. H. Hadwen, Lakes Road.
Inside the hall attendees could browse a government wool exhibit showing samples of various wool grades, both in bulk and in a sample case. The worsted process of manufacture was on display as were a model feed rack and dipping tank.
Judges enthused over the high quality of the stock and size of the show, bigger than any other sheep exhibition held in the province. It was wonderful to see the whole south of the island well represented, they said.
At Cowichan Merchants: “Our up-to-date range of…Corselettes, Corsets, Girdles, etc., assures you of the garment most suited to your style of figure. A complete assortment of sizes and materials…priced at $1 to $7.50.”
In Miss Baron’s Fancy Work Department: Unbleached aprons, 39 cents; aprons, made up, from $1.25; Luncheon sets, four serviettes, from $1.35; luncheon squares, only 65 cents. “Our baby department well stocked with infants’ woollies.”
In a Thos. Pitt, Ltd. Chevrolet and Oldsmobile dealers ad: “There was a young lady named Fitch, Who drove her machine in the ditch, It went all to smash, But it took little cash, To fix it up right,” said the witch.