The Monster Meeting Night 2012

Photos by Wayne Woodlock – Castlemaine Cameras 

The Monster Meeting Project was launched with gusto in a glittering affair in Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal. Having the oldest continually operating Theatre on Australia’s mainland as the venue for the launch of a project about a 160 year old event, really set a memorable scene.

Chewton Domain Society President Helen McGeachin welcomed everyone before dinner. MC Jonathan Ridnell from ABC Victoria welcomed Robyn Annear to the stage to paint the scene in 1851, assuring the audience that, “where others see dust, Robyn sees history.” An entertaining address followed providing listeners with an understanding of the local Goldfield in December 1851.

Sponsors and supporters were thanked and applause greeted the acknowledgement the Ballarat Reform League Inc. played in seed funding and supporting. Jan “Yarn” Wositzky took the stage and recalled the very successful Song Award of 2012 and how this project began. And at last, Former Governor of Victoria John Landy launched the project, ackowledging the historical importance of the Monster Meeting and congratulating everyone involved for their input.

Then it was concert time – Gala Concert time! From Richard Lewis’ ” We are Starting Someting Here” through all of the songs on the Monster Meeting CD the entertainment flowed, linked superbly with appropriate speech readings from the papers and documents of the time. In an interesting twist, MC Jonathan Ridnell made an on stage appearance as a representative of ABC steam radio to grill Governor LaTrobe about his thoughts and motivations at the time.

There were many many memorable moments during the evening. Ask anyone who was there their favourites – and be prepared to listen for some time.

John Ellis – Chewton Domain Society.