CHILTERN residents are expecting this year’s Henry Handel Richardson oration to draw a much bigger crowd than usual.
Australian film director Bruce Beresford, 73, director of some 30 movies from The Adventures of Barry McKenzie to Mao’s Last Dancer, is the guest speaker.
He is also patron of the Henry Handel Richardson Society of Australia and directed the 1978 movie, The Getting of Wisdom.
Henry Handel Richardson was the pseudonym for author Ethel Florence Richardson, widely known for her works such as The Fortunes of Richard Mahony.
Society member Rex Fuge said securing Beresford for the oration was a coup.
“He is not an easy person to get a hold of as his work takes him overseas most of the time,” he said.
It’s the 44th year the society will commemorate the author’s birthday.
A birthday picnic will be held at the Lake View Homestead in Victoria Street.
The National Trust house holds Richardson memorabilia, including the author’s original writing desk.
After the oration and picnic, Beresford will present The Getting of Wisdom at the Star Theatre.
Mr Fuge expects about 100 to attend.
Richardson, a doctor’s daughter, was born in England on January 3, 1870, and lived at Chiltern for 18 months in 1876 and 1877.
The event begins at 6pm and visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic.
Picnics can also be ordered by phoning (03) 5726 1280 or (03) 5726 1467.