Monster Meeting rises again

CHEWTON will come alive this Sunday when the town celebrates the 1851 Diggers’ Monster Meeting.

An organiser, Pat Healy, said a re-enactment was held every year at the original site to remember the Monster Meeting of 15,000 miners who protested Governor La Trobe’s threat to double the miner’s licence fee from 30 to 60 shillings per month.

Ms Healy said it was a momentous occasion that changed Australia.

“It’s a forgotten piece of our history that’s incredibly important in Australia’s development towards a democratic society,” Ms Healy said.

An important aspect of the Monster Meeting, which forced the government to back down, was that it was peaceful.

“It was people power at its best,” she said. “It tells us about the power of people pursuing their goals together, and we can use people power to pursue our goals, too.

“Apart from all that – it’s a lot of fun.”

Onlookers are welcome.

Participants will gather at Chewton Soldiers’ Memorial Park at 2.30pm and join the procession to the Monster Meeting site in Golden Point Road led by a piper and drummer.

The Monster Meeting begins at 4pm with a repeat of the original speeches (edited) from a dray, songs and a brass band.

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