Your first look at Dai Gum Loong.

A DELEGATION from Bendigo will fly to Hong Kong next week for an important milestone in the development of the City’s new Imperial Dragon, Dai Gum Loong.

Dai Gum Loong’s head, neck and tail will be blessed in a Hong Kong temple on Saturday February 2, with mayor Margaret O’Rourke, Golden Dragon Museum general manager Anita Jack and Bendigo Chinese Association president Doug Lougoon attending the blessing.

Ms Jack said the traditional blessing intended to prepare Dai Gum Loong for his journey to Bendigo.

“The blessing ensures safe travels for Dai Gum Loong and is an important component of the dragon making process,” she said.

“From a cultural perspective it is important to have the mayor attend the blessing and represent the Greater Bendigo community, which Dai Gum Loong will become a part of.”

Construction of Bendigo’s new Imperial Dragon, Dai Gum Loong, is nearing completion and the Hong Kong team behind his creation is preparing to send him home.

Cr O’Rourke said she was looking forward to attending the blessing and meeting the people who had created Dai Gum Loong.

“This has been an important project for our community that has attracted local, state and federal government investment, as well as significant private donations. The arrival of Dai Gum Loong will be an exciting chapter in our city’s history and I am delighted to represent our community at the blessing,” she said.

It has taken less than a year to formally complete the project, after the council and Golden Dragon Museum signed a contract in May last year with celebrated Hong Kong dragon maker Master Hui to construct Dai Gum Loong.

The project has been funded and supported by all three tiers of government and was the subject of a successful community fundraising campaign that also raised funds for the restoration of Sun Loong.

Dai Gum Loong is expected to arrive in Australia by March.

Cr O’Rourke’s travel is supported by council and expenses will be accommodated within the current budget.