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.

Monster Meeting Day 2012

The 161st anniversary of the Monster meeting saw the rain clouds disappear as marchers assemled at the Red Hill Hotel. After distributing flags, Phil Hall led a colourful procession along the Pyrenees Highway. Jim Evans from the Bendigo Historical Society was prominent with the distinctive Red Ribbon Rebellion flag, and took centre stage when there was a pause for photos near the highway’s flagpole.

At the site, Phil took the microphone as the MC. Doug McCann was guest speaker and in an entertaining and enthusiastic speech, told of the influence of the Victorian Goldfeilds.

Various speech readers read from the Argus, delivering them with passion and often provoking audience reactions. Doug Ralph traditionally has the role of allocating the speeches and he really does select wisely.

After the speeches, Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky and this banjo took over the stage and was joined by Merryn Lamb and Danny Spooner to bring the show to a close.

After several photos were taken the walk back to the hotel began, this time down the track along Forest Creek. Parks Victoria had mowed the path in preparation for this day.

The Red Hill’s Beer Garden was the setting for a delightful BBQ which marked the end of a big week in Chewton.

Jon Ellis - Chewton Domain Society

Photos by Rhonda Joyce – Castlemaine Cameras 

Gala performance ready to go!

Here’s the happy mob outside the Chewton Town Hall having a sing-a-long after rehearsal for the Gala performance.

The Gala concert at the Theatre Royal on December 14th is turning out to be a don’t miss event – singer/songwriters presenting their creations with the support of the Monster Meeting band just as they appear on the CD.  With the ABC’s Jonathan Ridnell as MC, noted author Robyn Annear “painting the picture” of the Monster Meeting and John Landy launching the project a super night is guaranteed.  6.30 for dinner or 7.30 for the launch and concert.  This will be one-off event because of the logistics involved!  Don’t miss it.

Book Here

 

Left to right Doug Owen, Charles Affleck, Martin McKenna, Danny Spooner, James Rigby, Patrick Killeen, Nicolas Lyon, Wendy Rowlands (with accordion), Merryn Lamb, Doug Falconer, Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky, Jane Thompson, Kate Melzer, Tony Ryan, Annie Morabito, Tim Heath

 

The Monster Meeting Double CD is here!

It’s here and it’s beautiful

Thirteen new songs & the untold tale of the Monster Meeting of Diggers, 1851

JAN YARN’ WOSITZKY & THE MONSTER MEETING BAND

  • Double CD and full color book – $39.95 (Includes GST and Postage)
    Purchase here

 

Disc One

THE SONGS
1    We Are Starting Something Here
2    The Cards That Fell
3    Thirty Shillings A Month
4    Fool’s Gold
5    The Ballad Of Forest Creek
6    More In Our Hearts Than Gold
7    Father Dear
8    Gather ’Round The Flag
9    Three Quid For The Privilege
10   We Stand For Our Rights
11   Good Time A Coming
12   The Quartz And The Clay
13   The Monster Meeting

View song lyrics

Listen to extracts of the songs

Disc Two

THE STORY
Part One: The Monster Meeting Today
Part Two: The 1851 Gold Rush
Part Three: The Monster Meeting 1851
Part Four: Bendigo and Ballarat
Part Five: The Monster Meeting Legacy

Our youtube channel has extracts of the songs to listen to

Gala Concert

The Gala concert at the Theatre Royal on December 14th is turning out to be a don’t miss event – singer/songwriters presenting their creations with the support of the Monster Meeting band just as they appear on the CD.  With the ABC’s Jonathan Ridnell as MC, noted author Robyn Annear “painting the picture” of the Monster Meeting and John Landy launching the project a super night is guaranteed.  6.30 for dinner or 7.30 for the launch and concert.  This will be one-off event because of the logistics involved!  Don’t miss it.

On-line bookings at Theatre Royal  or call the them on 5472 1196.

Monster Meeting Songs

Here’s an excerpt from the songs that were the finalists in the Song Competition. The CD will be launched as part of the project on Dec 14. Thanks to Glen Harrison for putting this together.

http://youtu.be/iktwg67YbKU

Monster Meeting Project launched on Pozible

The Monster Meeting Project has been launched on Pozible

What’s Pozible?

Pozible is a ‘crowd funding’ website. It’s where funding for a creative project comes from individuals, as different from say a Government grant. It works by supporters of a project pledging small amounts of of money towards the project; but you only pay when the project reaches it’s target within the allocated time – for us, that’s by November 15, 2012.

Why not join us in this project?

If you want to be part of the project – by volunteering any of your skills and time, please contact John Ellis on 5472 2892. Or become part of the project by pledging money to support the project. You can do this on the Pozible crowd funding website: www.pozible.com

More info about the project is here
www.monstermeeting.net/the-monster-meeting-project-2012 

Monster Meeting Day!

“Thirty Shillings a Month” turns into $1,000 overnight!

The $1,000 Monster Meeting Song Award first prize has been taken out by Martin McKenna with his song “Thirty Shillings a Month”.

The judges’ decision was a popular one. “He really nailed the political situation of the time,” was a sentiment expressed by many in the 200 strong audience that had packed the Theatre Royal for the concert of finalists.

Martin McKenna on stage with his railway spikes courtesy Eliza Tree.

Thirty eight songs had been entered, far exceeding the expectations of the organisers. The judging panel shortlisted fourteen of the songs and these were performed in a concert MCed by ABC Centralvic’s Jonathan Ridnell. From Bannit’s explosive opening performance of Bill McAuley’s “Our Rights Democratic” through to Rod Willaton’s “Eighteen Fifty One” performed by Crosswind a wide cross section of musical genres entertained the crowd.

The diversity of musical styles and approaches that have developed from a single starting point was amazing,” said Jan Wositzky, one of the judges. “The challenge was to write the best song about, or based upon, the 1851 Monster Meeting of diggers at Forest Creek. The resulting diversity and concert showcased many, many talented songwriters and musicians.”

Martin McKenna - no time for celebrations.

In his role as patron of the Award noted singer-songwriter Shane Howard performed several of his compositions. Shane also spoke of the challenges of writing historical songs, and offered words of praise and encouragement to the performers who had presented such a wonderful concert.

The winner, Martin McKenna was obviously thrilled with his win. He is a full time farmer and occasional song writer with an interest in the colonial history of Australia. He sometimes sings, usually unaccompanied, at a monthly session at the Trentham Hotel, and other places (if allowed). His great grandfather arrived from Kilkenny, Ireland in the colony of Victoria in September 1854 and headed for the diggings, including Forest Creek, before settling in Kyneton where he had a brewing and malting business. When the land acts were passed in the 1860s he took up land in the Baynton district where Martin and his wife Christine still live and farm.

Second prize went to Northcote’s Frank Jones and Christy Wositzky-Jones for “Father Dear”, and third prize to Eaglehawk’s Jamie Roberts with “The Cards that Fell”. In presenting the winners their cheques, Parks Victoria’s Kate Millar congratulated not only the prize winners, but all the entrants.

The Monster Meeting Song Award gave us a memorable night, one where history was well and truly made!

Footnotes:
Martin McKenna will be performing “Thirty Shillings a Month” at the 2010 Monster Meeting Celebration in Chewton on Wednesday 15 December, along with Frank and Christy’s 2nd prize-winning “Father Dear” and fellow finalist Doug Owen’s “Three Quid for the Privilege”.

Martin McKenna can be heard at the Trentham Hotel on the last Friday of each month (resuming after the Christmas break).
The photos are of Martin on stage, and back at work in the shearing shed.

Monster Meeting Song Awards!