This Day in History: 1984-09-01

1984 September 1-2: The Toodyay Tourist Centre held the inaugural Moondyne Festival in Toodyay, over a weekend. The Festival was named in honour of former convict Joseph Bolitho Johns, who roamed the Moondyne hills in the 1860s, and became known as Moondyne Joe. Based on an idea of Peter Chiffings and Pam Masters, the event had a colonial and craft theme, but also incorporated street theatre. Visitors on the Festival weekend doubled the community’s population of 1,200 people.
Over the weekend, various entertainments were offered, such as the Wowser James Wheelbarrow Race, a float parade and the Mucky Duck Bush Band. A series of paintings about Moondyne Joe, created by artist Bruce Marshall of Forrestfield, and purchased by the Tourist Centre, were unveiled. (These paintings are now in the Shire of Toodyay Art Collection.)

Northam advertiser, 2 Feb. 1984, p.6; 26 July 1984, p.28; 30 Aug. 1984, p.9; April 2000, p.1.
West Australian, 3 Sept. 1984, p.3 (photo)