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History in Bendigo

The Chinese arrived in Bendigo during the gold rush of the 1850s. In 1854, it was estimated there were 4,000 Chinese on the Bendigo fields.

The Chinese first established themselves in the White Hills area where the present Joss House is and another building which burned down, once housed Loong (the oldest Imperial dragon). They then established communities in the Bridge Street region, for what reason, is unknown.

In 1871 the Chinese community joined the Bendigo Easter Procession to assist in fundraising for charity. The Chinese community gained recognition for their interest and generosity that the community was asked to assist and participate with the Easter Fair. There were scores of finely embroidered costumes, banners of all colours and shapes, richly carved iron wheeled vehicles and musical instruments for Chinese bands. Part of this collection can be seen in the Golden Dragon Museum. In 1892 a local newspaper reported the first appearance of a dragon (Loong) in the Bendigo Easter Procession.

Chinese Association
Loong ParadingLa Trobe Picture Collection
State Library of Victoria

As the gold became scarce many of the Chinese left Bendigo. As time went by, many of the buildings in Chinatown were demolished in the 1960’s.

Because the Chinese were one big community, it has never really been known when the Bendigo Chinese Association officially formed, however, it became incorporated on the 12 March 1986. Its headquarters is located in Bridge Street.

More information about the Bendigo Chinese Association, and the history of chinese in Bendigo by visiting the Golden Dragon Museum in Bridge St, Bendigo.

© 2011 Bendigo Chinese Association Inc. All Rights Reserved. Created by Troy Henderson. Sponsored by Bendigo Community Telco.