Historic protest recognised

A PROCESSION of diggers marched through Chewton in recognition of the 1851 Diggers' Monster Meeting yesterday. 

About 30 people donned period costumes and waved flags as they made their way to the original protest site in the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park. 

The annual event celebrates the Monster Meeting in 1851 where about 15,000 diggers protested against a threat to increase the miner licence fee. 

Participant John Ellis said the procession and re-enactment had been held every year since 2003. 

"People tend to forget that the (Monster Meeting) was one of the first major uprisings on the goldfields," he said. 

"More than 15,000 people turned out (in 1851) for the peaceful protest.

"We felt it was important to recognise the event and promote the town.

Mr Ellis said the number of people who turned out for the event was impressive." 

The Monster Meeting sub-committee organised the event and have released an album which explains the history of the protest. 

Mr Ellis said the album recieved a Victorian Community History Award for the Best Historical Interpretation in October this year.  

The album can be purchased from shops in Chewton. 

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