Monster celebration this Saturday

The members of Brasslemaine will set the mood with tunes played at the 1851 gathering

Take a trip back into our goldfields past at the annual 1851 Diggers’ Monster Meeting celebration at Chewton this Saturday.

The commemorative event will take place on the original site of the historic meeting on the banks of Forest Creek in the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park at Chewton from 3pm.

The meeting on December 15, 1851, saw 15,000 gold diggers gather for Australia’s first mass anti-government protest against Governor La Trobe’s plan to double the cost of their gold licences.

Chewton Domain Society and Parks Victoria invite community members once again join them in commemorating the occasion with brass band music like the music the Diggers heard in 1851, and gold panning in Forest Creek.

Chewton Domain Society member Pat Healy said the gold panning would begin at 3pm and would be led by Parks Victoria Rangers Lachlan Cullum and Laurence Farr.

“Gold pans will be provided and there will be plenty of fun. But like the 1851 Diggers discovered, not everyone will find gold in the creek. It is all a matter of luck,” Pat said.

“Brasslemaine Brass Band will perform from 4pm followed by speeches from Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards, who will tell the story of the Monster Meeting and its impact, and Angela Gaynor, from Parks Victoria, who will share updates on what is planned for the park in the coming year,” she said.

“The landscape of that 1851 Diggers’ Meeting is still evident today in the park and the Diggers who started a protest movement that kick-started the march to democracy in Victoria are still here in spirit.”

The Monster Meeting site can be found in Golden Point Road, a short distance from the Pyrenees Highway intersection. All are welcome to attend.