History buffs make most of centenary

PLAY THE PART: Terry Widdows, Doug Murley and John White of the Central Victorian Fire Service Preservation Society with a 1923 fire engine. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
 Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

PLAY THE PART: Terry Widdows, Doug Murley and John White of the Central Victorian Fire Service Preservation Society with a 1923 fire engine. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

THE Hustler's Reef Reserve was abuzz with activity at the weekend for the Hustler's Lost Miners Centenary.

The event was officially opened by City of Greater Bendigo councillor James Williams at 10am on Saturday.

Presentations, displays and guided walks were held at the reserve until 3pm.

History buffs dressed in period fire fighting uniforms as part of the Central Victorian Fire Services Preservation Society event. 

"We're based in Huntly and we were asked to bring up some historic fire fighting equipment," group president Tim Rosewall said.

"So we have a 1925 Graham pumper and an 1891 horse-drawn extension ladder.

"That ladder is the only one in the world.

"There are three in the bottom of the ocean.

HISTORY: The Central Victorian Fire Services Preservation Society's display. Picture: HANNAH KNIGHT

HISTORY: The Central Victorian Fire Services Preservation Society's display. Picture: HANNAH KNIGHT

"They were built in England but the ship sank so this is the only one that made it here."

Mr Rosewall said it was great for the Central Victorian Fire Services Preservation Society to be able to participate in the Hustler's Lost Miners Centenary.

"Kids always like to jump on the fire truck and we do get a lot of inquiries," he said.

"Everything is to do with Bendigo's history and we're about preserving fire service history in central Victoria."

Friday marked the 100-year anniversary of the worst mass fatality in Bendigo's goldfields history with events on Saturday and Sunday set to mark the tragedy's centenary.

Seven men were killed in an explosion at the Great Extended Hustler's Mine in Bendigo on May 2, 1914.

The explosion erupted 300 metres underground.

Hustler's Lost Miners Centenary committee chairman Aldo Penbrook described the incident as "the worst mass fatality in Bendigo's goldfields history". 

"But during the time of the goldfields up to 900 men lost their lives in underground mining accidents and probably thousands more died from lung disease," he said.

"A lot of them died at a young age and left their families and widows and orphans behind."

The weekend's centenary events also included a Cornish miner's lunch and goldfields music and dance display at the Boundary Hotel. Bendigo Hospital's old mortuary also had an exhibition featuring memorabilia from 1914.

COSTUMES: Members of the Central Victorian Fire Services Preservation Society. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

COSTUMES: Members of the Central Victorian Fire Services Preservation Society. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

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