Photographic Artist and Creative Writer
Bendigo Chinese Community pays tribute to ANZACS.
Easter time in Bendigo is usually a long four day event which culminates in the Bendigo Chinese dragon Sun Loong ending the gala parade on the Easter Monday. This year with Monday being ANZAC Day, all the events were condensed into three days, with once again the major contribution of the local Chinese Association at the parade.
However that didn’t end the wonderful contribution by the Chinese population lead by local Russell Jack.
During the time I was there,(around an hour and it was still going when I had to leave) starting at just after 1pm the Bendigo Chinese Association commenced a special tribute for ANZACS on Easter Monday at Dai Gum San Chinese Precinct, Bridge Street Bendigo. The whole idea of the afternoon was to honour persons who have distinguished achievement – the ANZACS of past and present, and the Chinese tradition of the Lion Dancers is to pay homage to their forebears of distinction so the events were a fitting combination for this tribute.
As Paul Penow from the Bendigo RSL said in his opening speech, to do this was a great way to celebrate freedom in an exciting and different way.
After the opening speeches and then the playing of the Last Post and the following minute silence, the event commenced. A loud round consisting of 1,000 fireworks followed before the first ANZAC present, Harry Bartley, representing ANZACS on the Kokoda Trail was presented with a scroll from the Bendigo Chinese Lion Association. Next, Jack Gerston, representing Korean Veterans received a scroll from the Chinese Youth Association, while Major John Balsille represented Malaya and Borneo and Paul Penow represented the Vietnam Veterans. After each scroll presentation a special show from various Chinese groups, consisting of both local and Melbourne groups, followed. The tribute was watched before a crowd of around 200, althought it was difficult to calculate as people (like myself) came and went during that time.
It was a unique and stunning way to commemorate our ANZACS.
Lest We Forget.
For a Pictorial Display of the event go to: