Lighting a gen'rous, manly flame: The Nostalgia for “dear old Bendigo”

TitleLighting a gen'rous, manly flame: The Nostalgia for “dear old Bendigo”
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsCarpenter, L. W.
JournalJournal of Australian Studies
Volume37
Issue1
Start Page76
Pagination95
Date Published02/2013
Abstract

Bendigo is the name of an Australian city with a golden past, an historic reserve centred on a Central Otago ghost town, a Pennsylvanian State Park and a former All-England champion boxer. The name “Bendigo” appears on hotel signs, gold dredges and mining claims in several countries and is on the nameplate of a Confederate blockade runner wrecked off North Carolina. More than an example of an early global brand, “Bendigo” acquired a peculiar significance throughout narratives of colonial Australasia with the town remembered in an unusually rapid, unique nostalgiacising process. This article examines the way the name developed and the manner in which the Australian Bendigo emerged through legend, memory and pioneering mythology to become an assiduously romanticised “Old Bendigo” and how this influenced the perception of people from there.