Monday 3 November 2014

The race that stopped the North Midlands

For many years the biggest event on the Carnamah social calendar was the annual Carnamah Races. They took part annually in March/April and were accompanied by the Moora Races and two race meetings in Three Springs - one for the sake of racing and the second for Saint Patrick's Day!

"Father of Carnamah" Donald Macpherson was a founder of both the Three Springs Race Club in 1910 and the Carnamah Race Club in 1916. At various times he loaned land near both towns for their racecourses.

Below is a notice about the then forthcoming 1927 races in Carnamah and further below a full report published after the event. Both are from The Midlands Advertiser newspaper, respectively of 11 March 1927 and 8 April 1927.

As cars and trucks became more prevalent the interest in horses and horse racing began to dissipate. The Carnamah Race Club's 1934 race meeting was cancelled due to a lack of nominations. Dancing, however, was still very much in favour and the club proceeded with their evening Race Club Dance at the Carnamah Hall.

The club fell into recess with no races being arranged for 1935 or 1936. After a Re-origination Meeting, the club's secretary Frank Rooke placed a notice in The North Midland Times newspaper that unless an objection was received the club would be wound-up and its funds donated between the North Midlands District Hospital in Three Springs and the Children's Hospital in Perth.

Carnamah farmer Tom Johnston acknowledged the worthiness of the two hospitals but objected on the grounds that charity should begin at home, especially with the depression. A meeting was called to decide where the money should go and the final decision was the Carnamah Athletic Club to assist them in buying gymnasium equipment.

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