For anyone who missed the posts on Facebook, Hokushin Shinoh Ryu Iaido Bendigo was indeed in the Bendigo Easter Festival. I was seriously low on willing participants from my membership, with just five of us plus juniors Trin and Is, but was helped out by Shanny (one of my students) bringing 5 of her mates along, as well as Carolynn volunteering, and Issy's Dad. We rounded up a few extra uniforms from people who couldn't make it, and I think presented a pretty good little team. This was our group (plus two more who were parking the car)
In the middle is Lindsay in a set of armour built by one of the Melbourne Iaido crew. It was made of 1.5mm steel, and weighed in around 30 kilos.. that's in just four pieces - the do (chestplate), kusazuri (plates that hang from the waist), kabuto (helmet) and menpo (mask). Lins powered through the whole parade wearing it all though, including the mask, and I'm sure he terrified and delighted many kids.
As an aside, I'm now looking at making my own set of armour - lighter, but more complete than this one. I'm not sure I'll have it finished by the next Easter parade, but it's good to have a project. I may be calling on Mum some more to raid for tools as needed (but I'll return them once I'm done, of course).
Everyone did a great job. I'm especially proud of Trinity and Isabelle who not only walked the entire parade, but also ran from person to person handing out fliers.. which I think means technically they walked further than any of us. I'm sure the kids watching were most impressed by our little Samurai.
We handed out nearly 300 fliers, and I actually got a call yesterday from someone who saw us and is interested in checking out the classes. I'm not expecting a huge influx of new members, but it was a fun experience and now 40,000 odd people in Bendigo know we exist.