Enter the (new) Dragon.....
People power harnessed to build on Bendigo’s rich social history
When it’s time to retire the longest Chinese imperial parade dragon in the world, just how do you go about helping to raise the funds needed to bring a new dragon to life? The clock is ticking to raise funds for this very special project and four Bendigo Community Enterprises are pulling together with the backing of the wider community to support the Bendigo Chinese Association in creating a new dragon.
Since the 1870s, the community of Bendigo and visitors to the Bendigo Easter Festival have wholeheartedly embraced Chinese participation and the appearance of an Imperial Dragon, the highlight of Australia’s oldest continuous community festival.
There have been three Imperial dragons with Loong, the original dragon an important part of Australian history beginning in 1892 - and taking part in the parades for Federation in 1901. Loong’s successor, Sun Loong (meaning New Dragon), was created in 1970 but must soon be retired, restored and replaced by a successor to be known as Dai Gum Loong (meaning Big Gold Dragon).
Strathfieldsaye Community Enterprise Chair Catherine Wilby said: “The Bendigo & Northern District, Strathfieldsaye, Kangaroo Flat & Eaglehawk Community Enterprises have already successfully funded more than $3 million in grants and will now make a significant contribution in helping to deliver the Dai Gum Loong Dragon Redevelopment project on time for the 2019 Easter Parade”,
“The four Community Enterprises have committed to making a collaborative community investment of $20,000 to support the Dai Gum Loong Dragon Redevelopment project. The overall funds needed are significant and this is a great example of how our Community Enterprises can work together for a joint central project that will support the Bendigo Chinese Association to ensure that Bendigo’s dragons continue as an iconic part of Bendigo’s heritage and our famous Easter parades.
“Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise™ Foundation, the charitable arm of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is dedicated to helping build stronger communities through funding programs for families, youth, health, education, the environment, the arts and lots more, so this project is a natural fit.
“To support the fundraising effort for the Dai Gum Loong Dragon Redevelopment project, Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise™ Foundation has launched an appeal to allow online and in-branch tax deductable donations”, Ms Wilby concluded.
For more information and to donate online, visit the Community Enterprise Foundation website www.bendigobank.com.au/foundation and scroll down to Dai Gum Loong: A New Dragon For Bendigo Appeal.
Alternatively, people can call into the Golden Dragon Museum at 1-11 Bridge St, Bendigo between 9.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesdays to Sundays. The Museum is closed on Mondays and Public Holidays.