Glass negative stereograph showing the Chinese Procession that took place on 7 May 1901. It is part of the G. H. Myers Collection which consists of 73 photographs taken by Godfrey Henry Myers, an electrician and amateur photographer, in Melbourne during May 1901. 72 of these photographs depict preparations for the celebrations that surrounded Federation; all but one are glass stereographs. This collection represents Myers' one venture into commercial photography. It is significant for its images of the crowds, which do not feature so prominently in commercial photographs. The remaining photograph is a family portrait.

The opening of the Australian Parliament on May 9 1901 was an occasion for great celebrations in Melbourne. Ten days of festivities (from 6-16 May) were planned to mark the Federation of the new nation and honour the Royal visitors, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. The city was transformed with decorations - flags, bunting, colourful lights and festive arches - and a series of public events were held, including a military tattoo and several street parades. Unprecedented numbers of people arrived in Melbourne from the rest of Victoria and throughout Australia to take part in the celebrations.

Description of Content

Chinese Procession, Federation Celebrations, corner Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne 7 May 1901. The Chinese community staged their own procession which was viewed by an estimated 200,000 people. It involved hundreds of participants, a heavenly army, their wives and daughters, and two benevolent dragons. Silk banners were carried and silks of scarlet, rose pink, gold, blue, purple and yellow were worn. Two elaborately costumed young girls can be seen on horseback. In the background is St Paul's Cathedral. Stands for spectators were built in front of the cathedral by speculators. In these crowds, the most the non-paying crowd saw were other people's hats; especially if you stood behind men wearing top hats.

More Information