GOVERNOR of Victoria the Honourable Alex Chernov and his wife Elizabeth explored Bendigo on Thursday.
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Lisa Ruffell and chief executive officer Craig Niemann joined the duo as they took a tour of some of the city’s major attractions.
As part of the whirlwind tour Mr Chernov and his wife toured Dai Gum San and the Chinese Museum, had a guided tour of the Bendigo theatre redevelopment and the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion.
A civic ceremony was also held in Mr Chernov’s honour.
City of Greater Bendigo councillors, representatives from various greater Bendigo schools and locals welcomed Mr Chernov at the Conservatory Gardens near Rosalind Park.
Mr Chernov said he had only visited Bendigo on three occasions.
He said driving through the centre of town and visiting some of the region’s best attractions brought back memories of his last trip to the city.
Mr Chernov said Bendigo was a city going from strength to strength.
“I think Bendigo has a bright future, but that is nothing the people of Bendigo don’t already know,” he said.
Mr Chernov said Bendigo was a great place to live and work.
“I envy you,” he said.
Mr Chernov said it was important to recognise the extraordinary commitment shown by locals who were a part of the gold rush.
“Bendigo had a real belief in its future,” he said.
“People showed a resilience and a pioneering spirit.”
Mr Chernov said in comparison to other Victorian towns and cities Bendigo was very much ahead of its time,
He said Bendigo added a lot to the Victorian economy.
“The new hospital being and the airport project, these are the sort of the things that are adding to the economy,” Mr Chernov said.
“University students, the TAFE and the schools are all contributing to the economy.”
Mayor Lisa Ruffell said the governor’s visit was a chance to promote greater Bendigo and discuss some of the region’s major developments.
She said it was an honour to have someone like the Victorian Governor come to Bendigo.
“Bendigo was once the largest and richest in the country and now Bendigo is one of the largest regional cities in Australia,” mayor Ruffell said.
“Bendigo is a beautiful city and that is what we wanted to show the Governer.”
More pictures at bendigoadvertiser.com.au