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23-April-2019 (John Huth)
23-April-2019 (John Huth)

Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown / John Huth

The church was erected as a memorial to Queen Victoria.  The former Presbyterian Church building was opened in January 1901 and dedicated as the Queen Victoria Memorial Church - believed to be the first memorial to Queen Victoria in the British Empire. It was officially opened by Anne Bon in 1901, one week after the Queen died.

Victoria (24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. With a reign of 63 years, seven months and two days, Victoria was the longest - reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning queen regnant in world history until her great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II surpassed her on 9 September 2015.

Queen Victoria`s birthday, 24th May, used to be called `Empire Day`. There were special assemblies at school with songs praising the British Empire. Children were then given a half-day holiday. Up to the 1950s, Empire Day was celebrated in Australia with huge bonfires and fireworks.

The little church in the hamlet of Bonnie Doon, on the Mansfield line (says the "Leader") is notable as being the first memorial of her late Majesty Queen Victoria. It was built by the Presbyterians, the foundation stone was laid by Mrs Bon, on 24th March, 1900, and it was dedicated by the Rev Geo. Tait, Moderator of the General Assembly on 29th January, 1901, a few days after the death of the Queen. It was resolved that the name to be given to the church should be the Queen Victoria Memorial Church. Before his departure, the late Governor, Sir Thomas Carmichael, visited Bonnie Doon and was much interested in the little edifice and the circumstances under which it received its name. Also in the fact that its internal fittings were derived from Chalmer's Church, one of the original places of worship in Mel bourne, and that its communion device bears the inscription Chalmer's Church, Melbourne, 1853. At the instance of Sir Thomas Carmichael, and through his medium, a photograph of the church was sent to his majesty, the King, and a letter has been received in reply, which states that the photograph and the message accompanying it has been laid before his Majesty, who has been pleased to direct that his thanks shall be conveyed to Mrs Bon. That her Majesty Queen Victoria had much sympathy with the established Church of Scotland and it is interesting that the first monnment erected to her memory should have been a church built by Presbyterians for Presbyterian worship in the State which bears her name. A fine picture of the Church appeared in last week's "Leader."
Yea Chronicle (Yea, Vic.), 20 July 1911.





Address:Church Street, Bonnie Doon, 3720
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.022361
Long: 145.859381
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:20-June-1837
Actual Event End Date:22-January-1901


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 29th January, 1901
Front Inscription

Plaque :

This foundation stone was laid by Mrs A. F. Bon

A. D. March 20th 1900.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au