Local hero lights up Bendigo

THE life and times of the first Catholic priest on the Bendigo Goldfields, Reverend Dr Henry Backhaus, was celebrated at the Rosalind Garden Conservatory on Thursday night.

This year marks 200 years since Dr Backhaus’ birth and 160 years since he arrived at the Bendigo Goldfields. 

The evening completed the end of a week of celebrations for the influential Bendigo figure, which also included a book launch and a display at the Bendigo Visitor Centre.

A sound and light display by artist Michael Harkin was displayed along the windows of the conservatory. 

Music composed by Dr Backhaus was performed by Jennifer Schatzle and Merrin Torpey with Peter Butler.

President of the Bendigo Historical Society Jim Evans said it was a fitting tribute for an important and significant figure in Bendigo’s history.

“It was a brilliant, spectacular sound and light show depicting the journey of his life,” he said. 

Dr Backhaus was the first Catholic priest on the Goldfields and instrumental in the building of  St Kilians Church. 

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