The Township of Clunes, in Victoria, Australia is the site of the first gold discovery in Victoria, just as Coloma is the site of the first gold discovery in California. Thus Clunes proposed a “sister city” relationship with Coloma.

On the Coloma side of things, making this relationship happen was a little complicated. Because Coloma is not an incorporated city, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution on February 15, 2000, to declare Clunes to be Coloma’s Sister City.

The details of the relationship are being handled by the County’s General Services Department. If you’d like to be involved, have ideas to share, or have questions to be answered, contact them at (530) 621-5864.

Coloma Day in Clunes

The first Coloma Day was celebrated in Clunes, Victoria, Australia on January 24, 2000. A Twilight Garden Party was held in the gardens of Keebles of Clunes Guest House, with an “American-style” BBQ. For this inaugural event, the American Consul General (Melbourne) and his wife were Guests of Honour, with 160 people in attendance.

Goals of the Sister City Relationship

Tim Hayes, chair of the Clunes Sesquicentennial of the Discovery of Gold Committee 1851-2001, explained what they hope to accomplish with the Sister City plan.

When I originally proposed this idea, it was not just to have a “sister city” relationship which would serve as a “junket” for local government bureaucrats; I was keen to see develop contact between our local schools, not only between students but possibly exchange programs between teachers and other professionals, say, in the health or community services areas.

I was hoping that our communities would recognise each others significance (as we are doing on 24th January) and this may instill interest in our respective residents visiting their “sister city.” I would like to get a group together to be part of a “Welcome To Clunes” group….specifically for tourists from Coloma, Lotus and Placerville who may visit Australia and who may wish to sit down with rural Australians over dinner or afternoon tea and learn more about our country – tourists can get so lonely sometimes!

We have two wineries in our area and both are keen to visit Coloma in order to “showcase” their products as well as the other features of our district. Why can’t the same happen in Clunes.

Clunes Links

The Clunes category of the Open Directory has many links to information about the town and its history, lodging, dining and local attractions.