Goldfields Involvement, 1853-1854
Possibly George Young who signed the 1853 Bendigo Goldfields Petition. George Young was also involved in Eureka. Agitation of the Victorian goldfields started with the Forest Creek Monster Meeting in 1851, but what became known as the Red Ribbon Movement was centred around the Bendigo goldfields in 1853. The Anti-Gold License Association was formed at Bendigo in June 1853, led by George Thomson, Dr D.G. Jones and 'Captain' Edward Browne. The association focused its attention on the 30 shillings monthly licence fee miners were required to pay to the government. They drew up a petition outlining digger grievances and called for a reduced licence fee, improved law and order, the right to vote and the right to buy land. The petition was signed by diggers at Bendigo, Ballarat, Castlemaine, McIvor (Heathcote), Mount Alexander (Harcourt) and other diggings. The 13 metre long petition was presented to Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe in Melbourne on the 01 August 1853, but their call for a reduction in monthly licence fees and land reform for diggers was rejected. The diggers dissatisfaction erupted into the Red Ribbon Rebellion where agitators wore red ribbons on their hats symbolising their defiance of the law and prohibitive licence fees.
Post 1854 Experiences
It is probable that G. Young is one and the same as the pioneer George Young.
DEATH OF MR. GEORGE YOUNG A BENDIGO PIONEER.
Another of Bendigo's pioneers, in the person of Mr. George Young, passed peacefully away at his residence, "Jesmond", Stanhope-street, Malvern, early yesterday morning, at the advanced age of 80 years. Born at Newcastle-on-Tyne on 7th January, 1836, Mr. Young came to Australia in 1852, and after spending a short time in Melbourne he started out by bullock waggon for the Bendigo goldfields, accompanied by his wife and some friends. He spent the next 33 years of his life in this city. For a few years he tried his fortunes at mining. His mates were Messrs. J. B. Watson, Jas. Quinn, and Michael Brennan, all well-known old identities. Mr. Young did not meet with much success in that occupation. He therefore soon turned his attention to business, and found employment on the "Bendigo Mercury" and "Bendigo Advertiser," eventually starting business on his own account as a printer and stationer in Williamson-street, where his success was considerable, and he was enabled to take a trip to his native land in 1884. In 1886 he retired from business, leaving behind him an honored and highly respected name. He had ever since resided in Melbourne, but, although he had been away more than 20 years, he always took a keen interest in all local institutions, and was a regular contributor to them.
During his residence in Bendigo he was a most devoted worker on the Benevolent Asylum committee, and the old people used to look forward with pleasure to his frequent visits to them. He was president, and for many years a committeeman of the Bendigo Mechanics' Institute and Free Library. When Mr. and Mrs. Young left for a trip to England in 1884 the members of the Congregational Church tendered them a farewell social, and presented them with a handsome illuminated address and a series of Bendigo views. He was one of the earliest members of that church, and for many years a deacon. On the same occasion he was tendered a farewell by the local Rechabite and Temperance Society. He was for years the managing trustee of the local Rechabite Tent, and under his careful, business-like management the funds grew to very large proportions. He never lost one penny of principal or interest. He was one of the founders of the Temperance Society, and its first treasurer.
He was often pressed to enter public life, but, being of a quiet and retiring disposition, he consistently refused. He was kind-hearted and generous, and gave freely to the poor and distressed, but in the most unostentatious way. Many are the cases he relieved without his name being known.On the 30th July, 1904, Mr. and Mrs. Young celebrated their golden wedding. He leaves a widow and one son (Mr. J. B. Young) to mourn their loss. His remains are to be interred in the Bendigo Cemetery, the funeral (a private one) leaving the railway station on the arrival of this afternoon's train from Melbourne.
- Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday 18 January 1910 p 3.
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