The Bendigo Easter Fair Society has backed a campaign for a new imperial dragon, announcing a $10,000 contribution to the cause.
The donation has cemented the society as a gold partner of Dai Gum Loong, the name selected for the city’s new dragon.
After 47 years serving the Bendigo community, Sun Loong is in need of retirement.
Bendigo Easter Fair president Simon Mulqueen said Dai Gum Loong – “Big Gold Dragon” – would not only continue the traditions that have attracted attendees to the city’s Easter fair since the late 1800s.
He said an imperial dragon worthy of the Easter traditions was critical for the 150th celebrations in 2020.
The society is already planning the milestone event, and has called on all members of the community to consider a contribution towards securing the new dragon and preserving the existing.
The Sun Loong 750 campaign aims to raise $750,000 to replace Sun Loong with new dragon Dai Gum Loong, to preserve and repair Sun Loong, and to purchase the accompanying regalia and costumes.
The campaign launched at the end of March and raised $7000 in its first week.
“The Easter Fair Society, in conjunction with the community, needs to support this project to ensure it happens in time for 2020,” Mr Mulqueen said.
Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said Bendigo and its annual Easter festival wouldn’t be the same without an imperial dragon.
“That is what will happen if the Bendigo Chinese Association cannot raise enough funds to replace Sun Loong,” she said.
“The rituals and traditions of the Chinese community in Bendigo have become an important part of Bendigo’s heritage and sense of identity and it’s vital this continues into the future.”
Ms Chesters is a Dai Gum Loong scales donor.
She too encouraged members of the community to get behind the campaign.
“All donations are appreciated – it all goes towards keeping this tradition alive,” she said.
“We also need for local, state and federal governments to chip in and partner with the community to help fund our new dragon.”
Visit www.daigumloong.com.au to donate.