ABOUT ERONI'S CIRCUS


Eroni's Circus is owned and operated by Tony & Cathy Maynard, daughter Kelly and son Joseph.


Eroni's Circus began touring full time on the 24th August 2011, from the small country town of Howlong, NSW.


It was the product of many years hard work, building, training and organising a full circus from the ground up.


As with most circus families, the Maynards are multi skilled in many varied areas.


Almost all of the costumes, horse harness, props, equipment, trailers and even the Big Top you'll see in the show, have been hand built and/or designed by members of our family.

We also train the animal acts and personally oversee all of their care. 

 

We wish to bring audiences an old fashioned style circus for the modern age.

OUR FAMILY HISTORY
(Written by Kelly and Joseph Maynard)


Siblings Kelly and Joseph, mark the 7th generation of circus performers in our family.


Ours' is a very rich and colourful circus family history, which traces back to the earliest days of Australian Circus.


There is so much circus history throughout the many branches of our family tree, that it makes it rather difficult to do justice to the many achievements and milestones of our ancestors. 


A full history on the Maynard/Perry family is far too long to include here and would require several books! 

However here is a short summary of our family's story, entertaining Australians for over 150 years…


We are 7th Generation circus performers on our father Tony's side and 3rd generation on our Mother Cathy's side.

We shall start with Tony's circus heritage....

THE MAYNARDS



On our grandfather Fred's side are the Maynards.

Members of the family ran Lloyd sisters circus at the turn of the 20th century.


Bill and wife Daisy Maynard (with their children Bill Jnr, Emily and our grandfather Fred) performed in vaudeville shows such as those at the famous Tivoli theatre, Wild West shows like Thorpe McConville's Wild Australia, and with circuses such as Holden's, Wirths, Ashtons and Sole Bros.


Bill Jnr was a very talented dancer and left circus to branch out into the brand new area of show business, Television.

He taught choreography at the newly formed Channel 9 and trained famous choreographer David Atkins in dance.


Emily performed for years as an aerialist and bareback rider before she married and travelled on the agricultural show circuit providing carnival ride entertainment.


Our Grandfather Fred Maynard became a skilled rope spinner,acrobat and also a talented animal trainer, working over the years with lions (pictured), elephants, horses, camels and dogs. He also worked as a racehorse trainer in his younger years.

He is now retired from circus, though his influence can be seen through the types of acts performed by our family today.


THE PERRYS



On our Grandmother Lorraine's side, is the famous and extensive Perry circus dynasty.


The Perry dynasty began with ex convict George Perry and his family (including sons Charles Henry Perry and William George Perry) who toured a musical variety show in the gold mines of the 1860's.


From this travelling entertainer upbringing, eldest son Charles Henry joined Ashton's Circus as a trick rider and then later went on run a number of different circuses bearing the Perry name during the 1870's and 80's, most notably Perry's Jubilee Circus.


George's other son, William George (of whom all the existing circus born Perry family are direct descendants) also started his own circus in 1889 which eventually bore the name Eroni Bros Circus (reflecting his wife's maiden name Eroni).


After the death of Charles Henry, Perry's Jubilee Circus was amalgamated with Eroni Bros Circus in 1899.


The descendants of William George Perry have toured numerous well known circuses across Australia over the last century.

Circuses such as Perry Bros Circus, Sole Bros Circus, and Albertos Circus/R & A Perry Bros Circus.

However there have been many more Perry owned circuses (combined shows, second units of a larger show, and short lived circuses) since the 19th century.


Our Great Grandparents, Jim Perry and wife Margaret "Nellie" ran their own Perry Bros Circus for many years touring all over Australia with an extensive menagerie of animals.

Their show was the first circus to ever circumnavigate Australia.

Perry Bros Circus was also the last circus in Australia to tour their iconic elephants.

This show ceased touring in late 2011.

THE ROBINSONS


Cathy's parents Steve and Linda Robinson were outsiders to circus business.

Steve's first introduction to circus was through his family's farm which would supply Albertos/R.A Perry Bros Circus with hay for their elephants.

He eventually joined the circus as a tent worker, then moved onto the field of circus advertising.


It is quite unusual for somebody who is not born into circus to start their own show, but this is exactly what Steve and Linda did.

In 1975/76 Robinson Family Circus started in New Zealand.

Over the years, their children Cathy, Mark and Clare all learnt acts and provided the bulk of the circus programme.

Eventually the Robinsons returned to their native Australia and continued travelling their circus with some extra performers hired in.

In 1989 Robinson Family Circus and Perry Bros Circus combined their shows in a short-lived tour of the QLD/NSW coast.


After the two shows went their separate ways, the circus name was changed to Robinson Circus/Robinson International circus in the 90's (pictured).

Cathy later left this show to rejoin Perry Bros Circus and marry Tony Maynard.


The original Robinson Circus closed down in 1997. 

Mark Robinson later toured a new small scale Robinson Family circus on the agricultural show circuit, which ceased operating at the end of 2013.

OTHER NOTED FAMILY MEMBERS



Other noted family members include Lorraine's mother's family, the Hodsons.

Known better by their stage name "The Sylvesters", they performed with the famous Wirth's Circus with their Contortion, Adagio and Flying Trapeze acts.

One special attribute of their Flying Trapeze Act, seldom seen anywhere else in the world, was that our Great Grandmother Margaret "Nellie" Hodson acted as "The Catcher" (pictured).

In other words, she would catch the full weight of her adult brother's as they somersaulted through the air toward her.

An extreme physical feat for a woman.



Additionally the Perry family included some of the most accomplished equestrians of their time.

Charlie and daughter Beryl Perry trained world record holding high jumping horses, which when weren't competing, doubled as circus stunt horses.

Their horse "Lookout" broke world records by jumping a height of "8 foot 1 & 1/4 inch." at the Cairns Agricultural Show 1936 (pictured).

Amongst horse industry circles their name is remembered to this day.

With Eroni's Circus we carry our proud family tradition on into the 21st century.


Kelly Emily Perry Maynard & Joseph James Eroni Perry Maynard.

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