Pearlers’ Games returns

Article image - Pearlers’ Games returns Broom’s Chinatown Games of 20 years ago has inspired the Pearlers’ Games that will be a feature of the inaugural Chinatown Discovery Festival. Photographs courtesy Elisabeth Lucke.

The Shire of Broom, Western Australia, and Chinatown Revitalisation Project will join with Chinatown’s traders to host a three-day arts and heritage festival to celebrate the completion of major construction works and officially re-open the precinct.

The Pearlers’ Games is set to be one of the standout events and a community favourite at the inaugural Chinatown Discovery Festival happening from 24-26 May 2019.

The Pearlers’ Games are based on the ‘Chinatown Games’ that ran for four years from 1999 as part of Shinju Matsuri.

Broome Shire President, Harold Tracey, said that many Broome residents would have fond memories of the Chinatown Games from nearly 20 years ago.

“We hope to bring back that same community spirit with this year’s Chinatown Discovery Festival and mark a major milestone in Broome’s calendar with the completion of the Chinatown Revitalisation Project.”

Chinatown Investment and Development Coordinator, Talei Howell-Price, said that in researching Broome’s heritage and history it was considered the Chinatown Games could be revived and become a major part of the celebration.

“The Pearlers’ Games features six events that offer challenges that are a throwback to many of the skills used in the old pearling days.

In the main event, The Cygnet Bay Master’s Cup, teams of four will attempt pearling industry skill and strength challenges including rope coiling, knot tying, shell packing and rickshaw racing.

Individuals can tackle the Anastasia’s Shell Pack, Bill Reed Flipper Race and Knotsman Challenge; two-person teams can take on the Willie Creek Dive Collector; while teams of six to eight will vie for the crown in the Hutchinson Real Estate Tug-O-War.