Blokes lunch is back… with a wild twist

Gumbuya World functions and events manager Ange Reid, with dingo Mungi, gets members of the Cardinia Casey Biggest Ever Blokes Lunch committee acquainted with some of the park talent, from left, Andrew Pomeroy with Yindi, Dan O’Loughlin with Talara, Paul Thomas and Garry Howe with Merv. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

After a Covid-induced hiatus, the Cardinia Casey Biggest Ever Blokes Lunch is back and has an exciting new home.

The event, which has raised over $500,000 for prostate cancer and men’s health issues since 2014, is moving to Gumbuya World.

Members of the organising committee last week toured the local tourist attraction and could not be happier with the facility.

The first lunch since 2019 has been scheduled for Friday 9 September and is expected to fill the facility.

“It’s great to be back,” BEBL chair Garry Howe said. “We got together a few times over the past couple of years with a view of getting the event happening again, but each time we went into another lockdown. I was starting to think we were a jinx.”

Mr Howe said Gumbuya World would be ideal for the lunch, which in 2018 was named Cardinia Shire’s Event of the Year at the Australia Day celebrations.

“The function room is large enough to host our crowd, usually around 500, and is detached from the amusement park itself, with access and parking to the side,” he said.

“It has been suggested that our event will increase the animal count at Gumbuya by about 500, but that’s a bit unfair on our patrons, who have been very well behaved over the years,” Mr Howe said.

Gumbuya’s functions and events manager Ange Reid said the facility was thrilled to welcome the Biggest Ever Blokes Lunch and looked forward to helping build the event over the next few years.

“We are looking forward to hosting the lunch for the first year and helping to make it a great success.”

Gumbuya hosts everything from weddings to wakes, birthday parties and school formals and the lunch builds on that repertoire.

The Biggest Ever Blokes Lunch concept was started by Shepparton media man Chris McPherson when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and it has since fanned out to several other areas around the state and beyond.

Warragul hosts a lunch at Lardner Park in October.

The entertainment line-up is still being finalized for the Casey Cardinia event and will be announced over coming weeks.

Bookings will open soon and the price per table of 10 will remain at $1400.

Any inquiries in the meantime can be directed to Mr Howe on 0407 203 525 or