Prospectors enjoy golden weekend
THERE may have been no one shouting ‘‘Eureka!’’ but for local businesses it was most definitely a gold rush.
Around 220 people flocked to Heathcote looking to strike it rich at the Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria’s 2017 annual general meeting.
The weekend event drew people from all around Victoria to try their hand at panning in the McIvor Creek.
Saturday saw the historical society open its doors for the group to explore the heritage of the area while Sunday was a relaxing day with lunch provided by the CWA.
Lynnie Hindle, president of the Bendigo prospecting branch, said the weekend was a real success.
“It was such a beautiful day out, the Sunday we were panning had great weather and so everyone was happy to get out there into the creek in shorts and T-shirts,” she said.
“The creek was only about a foot deep and wasn’t flowing too fast, so it was just perfect.
“Heathcote is an area which is just so rich in gold and it’s not even in the golden triangle — we found some nice chunky bits in the creek.
“There are so many areas in northern Victoria which are rich in gold. Prospecting is such a low-impact hobby to have and it’s not very expensive.
‘‘After the event we had two new members sign up in the Bendigo region.’’
The location for next year’s AGM is yet to be decided, however there has been mention that it could be somewhere near Avoca or Dunolly.
Ms Hindle said the yearly events mean everyone has the chance to try their hand at prospecting while exploring the smaller towns of Victoria.
“The small towns are picked because we can provide a fair boost in tourism for the shops and services in the town,” she said.
“This year I believe we had the caravan park full and there were people from Yackandandah camping out in the scrub.’’
For more information on the Victorian association head to www.pmav.org.au.
Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria president Olly Oleszek presents MP Peter Walsh with a replica nugget.