Max Ricks Recollections - The Cherry Gardens Agricultural Bureau

The Agricultural Bureau is an Australia wide movement which assists with the needs of the farming community. The South Australian division is known as the central Agricultural Bureau. A Cherry Gardens branch was formed at a public meeting held on the 15th of November 1892. The first chairman was Grandfather Charles Ricks, and the first secretary was Mr. R.G. Hughes. In those early years, the local bureau meetings were held monthly at the Cherry Gardens Primary School building. Speakers were invited to pass on their knowledge at the meetings which were well attended by the local farmers. Day time visits were frequently arranged among members, and the sharing of knowledge and experiences was welcomed by all. Young people were always welcomed. Daytime family gatherings at various homesteads were often held. The Agricultural Bureau was a major organization for the development and progress for the farmers of the district, and continued strongly until the 1950’s. By now all evening meetings were held at member’s homes. At about this time there was a major change in the zoning regulations in much of the Cherry Gardens area. Farms could now be subdivided into small acreage housing blocks, which were quickly bought up mainly by city people. As a result of this, Cherry Gardens became recognized as rural living area, with no property large enough to support farming as a living. The exceptions being that anybody living in the ‘Hills Face Zone”, retained their original sized property which could not be subdivided. The other exception being, the area on the southern side of Cherry Gardens Road, which is classified as water catchment, and is not sub-dividable. Our property has Star and Arrow Road as its eastern boundary, which means we are in the Hills Face Zone, and therefore not sub-dividable.

The Agricultural Bureau at Cherry Gardens closed in the late 1950’s.