This Day in History: 2000-05-07

The 16th Moondyne Festival was held in Toodyay. Numbers were down compared to last year (not so many came on the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway steam train), but the crowds were happy, many wearing colonial dress. Moondyne Joe (alias Tony Maddox) and his gang created their usual mayhem. ‘Old Blind Joe’ had trouble judging the cleavage competition. An exciting new addition was the Perth Volunteer Rifle and Artillery Regiment 1860, with its noisy musket firing demonstration outside the Victoria Hotel. The Avon Valley Collectors Club again held its two-day fair in the Toodyay Memorial Hall.

Festival sponsors included Radio West 6AM, the Shire of Toodyay, the Toodyay Chamber of Commerce & Industry and many local businesses. Adrian Bolton was the Chairman of the Moondyne Committee, a sub-committee of the Tourism Advisory Committee. It was almost 100 years since the death of Joseph Bolitho Johns (the original Moondyne Joe), who died on 13 August 1900 in the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum (now the Fremantle Arts Centre). He is buried in the Fremantle Cemetery.

Toodyay herald, Feb. 2000, p.23; Mar. 2000, p.22, May 2000, pp. 1-2 (photos); June 2000, p.5.
Wikipedia: “Moondyne Festival’ (viewed 5 May 2023):