Good morning Bendigo! 20.04.14

Good morning Bendigo! Happy Easter! Hope the Easter Bunny found you this morning.

If you're looking for something to do today head along to the Bendigo Advertiser Gala Parade from 1pm. There will be an array of floats from a diverse range of community groups and a colourful Chinese procession featuring Sun Loong, the world's longest imperial dragon.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Partly cloudy with a top of 18 degrees.

For more detailed weather news click here.

TRAINS

No reported delays. 

NEWS OVERNIGHT

Gospel truth: Catholics come to power

The federal Coalition's cabinet is the most powerful collection of Catholics ever assembled in Australia, with almost half its 19 minister being members of that faith, nearly double the proportion of Catholics in the general population.

The Prime Minister, Treasurer and finance, trade, communications, education, agriculture and social services ministers are Catholics, and at least four others belong to other Christian denominations.

Asked by Fairfax Media about their Easter plans, half the Abbott cabinet confirmed they would be attending church. And while almost a quarter of the population ticked "no religion" in the 2011 census, nobody in the Coalition cabinet would admit to being an atheist.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, a Catholic who plans to attend four church services over the weekend, said: "I'm no saint but I try to go to all the services that are part of the Easter ritual."

Private schools in race to impress with best facilities

The state's top private schools are locked in a facilities ''arms race'', spending up to $20 million a year on upgrades to sports, arts and educational buildings.

Wesley College spent $20 million on capital works in 2012, the most recent year available - more than any other school in the state.

Trinity Grammar School was next with $16.4 million, then Camberwell Grammar at $14.3 million.

Wesley College spent a total of $43 million between 2009 and 2012, again the highest amount in Victoria. The school built a new sports complex in Glen Waverley, but the bulk of its spending was on a $30 million redevelopment of its St Kilda Road campus. The school's music school and digital media centre were rebuilt.

Bendigo Gala Easter Parade - LIVE coverage

Follow our rolling coverage of the big Bendigo Easter Gala Parade throughout today. Believe it or not, people started lining up at 5am this morning!

To follow the live coverage, click here

OUR PHOTOGRAPHERS HAVE BEEN BUSY THIS EASTER!

Bendigo Advertiser photographers have done an amazing job this Easter capturing all the fun and exciting things happening around the city.

EASTER GALLERY: Easter torchlight procession

EASTER GALLERY: Chinese precinct comes to life

EASTER GALLERY: Bendigo abuzz with Easter fun

EASTER GALLERY: An eggsellent morning in Rosalind Park

EASTER GALLERY: Adults-only Easter egg hunt

EASTER GALLERY: LEGO expo expected to attract 9000 people

And don't forget to jump on our website this afternoon to see our mega gallery from the 2014 Bendigo Easter Gala Parade!

BIRTHDAYS

If today is your big day, happy birthday! 

You share a birthday with Adolf Hitler, German Nazi leader (1889-1945); Max Rowley, Australian broadcaster (1937-); Betty Cuthbert, Australian Olympic champion athlete (1938-); Ryan O'Neal, US actor (1941-); Jessica Lange, US actress (1949-); Sebastian Faulks, British novelist (1953-); Julia Morris, Australian comedian and television presenter (1968-); Carmen Electra, US actress (1972-); Miranda Kerr, Australian model (1983-).

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

1534 - Elizabeth Barton, the Maid of Kent, is executed in England for criticising the matrimonial practices of Henry VIII.

1887 - The first motor race is scheduled in Paris: it results in a walkover for Georges Bouton, the only competitor.

1939 - Robert Menzies becomes Australian prime minister, succeeding Joseph Lyons, who died earlier in the month.

1970 - President Richard Nixon announces withdrawal of 150,000 US military personnel from South Vietnam.

1993 - Heavy fighting between Croat and Muslim troops spreads from central to southwestern Bosnia on the fifth day of a battle that has killed more than 200 people.

1998 - An Ecuadorean jet slams into a mountainside in Colombia, killing all 53 people aboard.

2002 - Representatives of the Group of Seven countries, meeting in Washington, agree to intensify efforts to combat terrorist financing and also adopt a plan to better deal with international debt crises.

2007 - South Africa's veterinary association announces that 30 dogs in the country have been killed in past fortnight because of pet food laced with melamine, an industrial chemical traced to China.

2013 - Champion Australian mare Black Caviar retires after a record 25 wins from as many starts; A powerful earthquake strikes China's Sichuan province, leaving at least 160 people dead.

JOKE OF THE DAY

What do you call a bunny with a large brain? An egghead. 

Have a great day,

Hannah

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