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Collection of Dennis O'Hoy
This image shows Loong parading around the Bendigo fountain in Pall Mall.
This is Loong’s last appearance in the festival known as Bendigo Easter Fair. Here Loong meets the new Dragon Sun Loong for the first time. Together they circled the fountain several times. Left to right: Dennis O'Hoy, Russell Jack, Charlie Quan, Tyrone Jack, David Lock, Ernie Ah Dore, Robert Jack, and Keith Jack.
Loong (Dragon) is entirely handmade and is the oldest imperial dragon in the world. He was probably first used in 1892, and took part in the procession in Melbourne to celebrate Federation in 1901; he retired in 1970.
The Chinese arrived in Bendigo, Victoria, during the 1850s gold rush. In 1854, it was estimated that over 4,000 Chinese were on the gold fields. In 1871, the Chinese community joined the Bendigo Easter Fair and Procession (which began in 1869) to assist fundraising for charity. Providing music, theatre and acrobatic displays, the Chinese section of the Procession soon became the main attraction. This remarkable collection of 19th Century processional regalia has been preserved by the Chinese community in Bendigo and is held in the Golden Dragon Museum. It is not only a collection of world significance but, importantly, it contextualises and preserves the living heritage of both Victoria and China through the objects and through the ceremonies that continue to be practised today.