|Bendigo's Capitol Theatre portico|
Okay, that seems a bit obvious. So obvious that I hadn't really paused to think about it very hard until one night last week when I found myself sitting in what must once have been the manager's office in the 1876 Union Bank in View Street, drinking fine French red with an old theatre friend and her fellow cast members.
When Mrs G and I were selling the idea of moving to Bendigo to the minions we contrasted the relative lack of buildings more than a few decades old in Canberra with the profusion of century-plus old buildings in Bendigo. The city dates from the 1850's gold rush, so there's a lot of period architecture; from the follies of mining barons to the facades of old pubs on almost every corner. "Look, minions, surely you'd be thrilled to live amongst all this history!" They weren't too sure.
Admittedly, it is kind of easy to overlook all this built heritage around you while you're trying to go about your life. Getting to work, doing the shopping, paying the bills. And yet there's a statue of Queen Victoria, unveiled only two years after her death, on the corner of one of the main intersections in town. We're on the other side of the planet from where she lived and reigned, and there's a bloody statue of her here! Mind you, the state is named after her, so I probably shouldn't be that surprised.
Anyway, as I was sitting there the other night, gazing about this 130+ year old building, eating fabulous prawns and lapping up the company, my conscience prodded me to appreciate the fact that the profusion of white-haired motorists with hats on their parcel racks aren't the only old things here that should drive you to distraction.
Photo credit: David Stephenson, via Flickr