In August 1978, the Association was formed to provide a new Dragon for the people of Melbourne for Moomba and the Chinese Community during the Chinese New Year. The Association adopted the name "Melbourne Dai Loong Association", meaning "Melbourne Big Dragon".
The Melbourne Dai Loong Association Inc. is a not-for-profit community organisation, which has an organising committee. Each year, we call on volunteers from all walks of life to be part of the excitement and fun of being a part of the processions.
President: Miss Tow-Eng Lim JP
Vice President: Chris Teh
Hon. Secretary: Mark Wang
Treasurer: Danny Doon JP
Committee Member: K C Low
Dragon Parade Sub-Committee:
Chinese New Year Festival
Master of Melbourne Dai Loong Lion Troupe:
The Young Chinese League's (YCL) dragon, Sun Loong was imported from China in the 1950s and paraded for over twenty years in the Lord Mayor's Labour Day Charity Parade, later known as Moomba.
In 1977, the tiring dragon was in need of replacement, so the YCL approached the Melbourne City Councillor, David N. H. Wang to assist in organising the fund-raising and importation of a new dragon. Cr Wang, along with other members of the Chinese Community, formed the Melbourne Dai Loong Association to be the caretaker of Melbourne's parading dragons.
Unfortunately, Cr. Wang passed away in the midst of fund-raising in early 1978. His wife, Mabel Wang (Patron) and son, Mark continued in his footsteps and visited the city of Foshan, the traditional centre of dragon making in Guangdong Province, China to create the next one in line.
They discovered that the art of dragon making had almost been forgotten. A dragon had not been made there since 1949, after the new Communist Government had placed little importance on Chinese traditional customs.
The Foshan Arts and Crafts Institute agreed to make a large processional dragon, but few local people could remember how. So samples of Sun Loong's dragon scales and parts had to be taken back to China as models for craftsmen to follow. Over four months, over one hundred people toiled busily in the new dragon factory.
As a result, Melbourne's Chinese Community became responsible for revitalising the age-old art of Dragon making in China with processional dragons being made for China as well as for communities in all parts of Asia, America and Europe.
On 22 February 1979 the new Melbourne Dai Loong emerged for the first time in the Moomba Parade, with a total length of 92 metres, 6,160 scales on his body and with a procession involving over 200 participants.
Parading for two and a half decades, Dai Loong became worn out, so the association needed to raise funds for the new dragon. The Committee of Management, headed by Miss Tow-Eng Lim, commenced to lobby for funds through the State and Local Government, private enterprises and community groups.
Miss T. Eng Lim, Mark Wang and Kelvin Kan went back to the Foshan Arts Institute China, to plan for a new dragon, lions and processional equipment.
In 2003, the new Dragon, named the Millennium Dragon, arrived in Melbourne three days before the Chinese New Year celebrations in Melbourne's Chinatown and with the assistance of Leni Quon, founding President of Dai Loong, the new Millennium Dragon was assembled over these few days and nights, ready to be awakened and parade on the day of the festivities.
The Millennium Dragon represents the largest processional dragon in the world. The dragon's head alone, weighing approximately 200kg, requires 8 people to carry it. The Millennium Dragon now parades for the Chinese New Year Parade, Moomba Parade and other special occasions.
To purchase both the Dai Loong and the Millennium Dragons, donations and sponsorships came from The Melbourne City Council, Victorian State Government, the corporate community and the general public.
Each year, the Association receives support from private and corporate sponsors. We would like thank the following organisations and people who have contributed to supporting the Association: