Lang Lang and District Historical Society Inc.


The Society meets on the 3rd Tuesday monthly at 1.30 pm at the

Lang Lang Historical Display Centre, Whitstable Street, Lang Lang. Everyone is welcome to attend.

We are open Wednesday 11 am - 3 pm

and every 3rd Sunday 1.30 - 3.30 pm

Contact information:

      Lang Lang and District Historical Society Inc.   

PO Box 8, Lang Lang, Victoria, 3984

Enquiries:  President: Jean (03) 59 975114  email:

Vice-President: Jacquie Laidlaw   Secretary: Peter Hayden 0417593719

Assistant Secretary: Cynthia Gane

Treasurer: Joy Adderley

Committee: Joy Kay & Mary Cardell


Lang Lang, home of the Easter Monday Rodeo, has a long history of Easter Monday activities. In 1901, the first Easter Monday Sports Meeting took place. Activities included Throwing the Weight (about 20lb), a Bicycle Race of a mile and a half, the Horse High Jump, Maiden Trot, Log Chopping Contest and the Cigar and Umbrella Race.

Boys and Girls races (all ages) were run during the day. A report in the Lang Lang Guardian says in 1902 the weather was "glorious" and a large crowd attended the sports meeting. Hot and cold water was supplied free of charge, for a large number of families who had picnic parties on the ground. Messrs McGuire and Briggs had a pony merry-go-round and were largely patronised during the day.

At night a grand ball was held in the Mechanics' Hall with about 40 couples dancing until 4 am. The musician did not turn up, but luckily Mr Leishman, a visitor to Lang Lang, filled the vacancy with a concertina, assisted by Mr W Browning on the piano.

The newspapers also tell us that the Easter Monday Rodeo, which dates from the early 1940s, began as a Rodeo and Gymkhana. As rodeo riding spread from the north of Australia to the southern states, the Lang Lang Rodeo became a big event, attracting thousands of spectators. Like the earlier Easter Sports, there were horse events like musical chairs and the flag and barrel race. But the highlights were the Buckjumping and the Steer riding Championship events.

A poem in the 1945 program donated to the Lang Lang and District Historical Society starts off:

"There was movement down at Lang Lang, for the word had passed around

The committee of the Agriculture Show

Would provide a big sensation on the local sporting ground

A championship steer-riding rodeo.

Said Hughie Bourke of Monomeith, let's make a decent splash

Then riders will come at it with a rush

A belt and sash for championship, I'll give a fiver cash,

And we ought to build a yard and double crush."

The poem goes on to mention names of riders such as the Kirkham boys from Hallam, Doherty from Traralgon, Rosevear from Bass and Ted Freeman from Lang Lang.

Although rodeo riding was often thought of as a man's game, women were also involved. Kitty Gill, a member of the famous Gill family, was billed in 1947 as the "world's greatest lady buckjump rider" and the only living person to stay on the World's Champion outlaw "Firefly".

For many years a ball was held after the Rodeo, with continuous dancing and euchre for non-dancers. In 1946 Hugh Bourke provided a two-guinea prize (£2/2/-) for the best Tangoette dancers.

This year, A Family Bush Dance for all ages will be held in the Lang Lang Hall on Easter Saturday, 14 April. Bushwahzee, a lively bush band, will lead the dancing. Unlike one hundred years ago, the band is expected to turn up. There will be prizes for costumes and a quiz and a light supper is provided.

The Shire of Cardinia is supporting the bush dance through Centenary of Federation funding.

Red Cross


early 1900s



Lang Lang is described in 1887 as " A postal township, 76 miles SE of Melbourne, with hotel, church, general store and State School; and is situated about 20 miles E. of Cranbourne, on the road leading top the Bass. It is the stopping place to the rapidly increasing settlement on McDonald's track, viz., Poowong, Jeetho and Yannathan; the land being of the finest agricultural description." ( p.258)

Victorian Municipal Directory Gazetteers for 1887 and 1903

In 1903 the entry reads " Township lies S.E. of Melbourne and about 20 miles E. of Cranbourne on road leading to Bass, with post and telegraph office, two hotel, coffee palace, two churches, two general stores, butter factory, State school and mechanic's institute. Monthly market for sale of cattle, horses and sheep. Excellent agricultural land. Station on Dandenong, Korumburra and Port Albert Line, 47 1/4 miles; fares, 8s.2d. and 5s.6d. Henry Noy, postmaster at railway station." (p.373).

In 1952 the Sun News Pictorial Beach Girl contest was held at Lang Lang, with a crowd of over two thousand.

Lang Lang even had its own swimming pool in the 1950s. This was a result of clever engineering, as the pool was designed to be filled by the sea water. The original earth walls were soon cemented and the Gala Carnival to open the pool took place on New Years Day 1956.
Lang Lang Olympians Ivan Stedman, an Australian champion swimmer who carried the flag at the opening ceremony of the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp. Ivan had been wounded by an exploding shell during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War, but won a silver medal in the 4 X 200m freestyle relay in 1920. He was the last manager of the Lang Lang Butter Factory before it closed.

When the Olympic Games came to Melbourne in 1956, TV came to Australia. Ned Keighery's window in Main ST contained a brand new black and white television set. It was exciting to stand outside and watch the Olympics as they happened.

In the 1956 Modern Pentathlon: Lang Lang pistol shooter Neville Sayers came 19th.


Thanks to the local community and the State Library of Victoria, the very fragile copies of the Lang Lang Guardian newspaper have been saved and preserved on microfilm.

The first edition of the Lang Lang Guardian (at the time the only newspaper in the Cranbourne Shire) was printed in a little building in Roseberry St in February 1902. It claimed proudly that this indicated "the recognition of this township as a progressive centre, and the growing prosperity of the surrounding district." The paper was published until 1918 when it joined with the Koo Wee Rup Sun.


Contact us

Address & Enquiries:

Lang Lang and District Historical Society Inc.   

PO Box 8, Lang Lang, Victoria, 3984

Enquiries:-     Phone Jean (03) 59 975114 or Joy (03) 5997 5489 or  email:


President : Jean Hayden
Secretary :

Assist Secretary

Peter Hayden

Jacquie Laidlaw

Treasurer : Joy Kay
Committee Mary Cardell

Mandy Hardy

Cynthia Gane




Annual - Single : $10
Annual - Family : $15

Click here to download Membership Application form (in Word format).

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