Monday, February 24, 2014

Elizabeth first rent office

Ron Hauser was Elizabeth’s first rent officer.  He retired after 23 years’ service with the Housing Trust.  His wife Lillian was Elizabeth’s first postal mistress.  They were allocated a house on the corner of Goodman and Richardson Roads, Elizabeth South in November 1955.  This was their home but also Elizabeth’s first rent and post offices.  Their front lounge because Ron’s cash desk and postal desk.
At first Ron had to go out and collect the rent in a car.  He would drive to collection points and people would come along and pay their rent.  Later people would come to his home to pay the rent.

Monday, February 17, 2014

That laminated bridge of sighs that led to Angle Vale

The  bridge over the Gawler River at Angle Vale received $45,000 for the restoration of its laminated timber arch as an Australian Bicentennial project in 1986.  Local author and poet, Max Fatchen wrote this poem at the time.
More bridging finance
I like a country bridge like this though pocket-books may quiver
To fix a laminated arch that spans the Gawler River.
Old iron-rimmed wagon wheels will roll and rouse the stubble quail
When memory sends its ghosts across the bridge at Angle Vale.

The pigs that went to market with a sacrificial squeal,
The drovers on their horseback as they called their dogs to heel…
The varnished buggies glistening with harnessed, haughty steeds
And kids with bamboo fishing rods among the river reeds.
Old country bridges, serving time, with timbers warped and worn
Would tremble to the Model T with hoarse, asthmatic horn.
There came the rattling lorries with their driver’ dusty brows
And cream cans full of nourishment from cud-quiescent cows.

We saw the old fat harvest moon above the ranges rise.
How sweet the moonlight slept, my love, in your big country eyes.
The mopoke called our names I think across that splintered rail,
That laminated bridge of sighs that led to Angle Vale.
Max Fatchen


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Angle Vale Bridge opening 1876

Angle Vale Bridge
Samuel Dawkins junior brought McCord’s property in 1876, at the same time that the first Angle Vale Bridge was about to be built.  Apparently McCord had promised the Government the little piece of his land necessary for the road on the Gawler River side of the bridge to meet the Angle Vale road on the south side.

When the Government approached Sam regarding the piece of land, Sam suggested, ‘the deeds have not yet been made over to your, but I’ll give the land if you will pay for the transfer’.  The Government promised that it would but nothing was done about it.
The bridge was built at a cost of £2,800, although the estimated cost had been £3000.  An article in the daily paper, the Register, said it was ‘one of the few public works carried out for less than the estimated cost’.

Now the bridge stood ready to be opened but still the transfer of the deeds had not been paid for.  So Sam went down the day before the opening, and taking his shovel and crowbar dug a hole, put in a post and fenced off the piece of land which still belonged to him.
The next day was Wednesday, November 22nd and the official party comprising the Commissioner of Publish Works, the Honourable J. Cotton M.P; the Chief Secretary, the Honourable Sir Henry Ayers, M.L.C; the Honourable T. Hogarth, M.L.C; Mr Cavenagh, M.P; and Mr Bright, M.P came up from Adelaide to Angle Vale for the opening and following celebrations.

A triumphal Arch, adorned with evergreens and flowers, surmounted the bridge and under and around it had assembled a crown of about five hundred people.

As the first of her sex to be born in the neighbourhood, Miss Heaslip had been given ‘ the honourable duty of formally opening the bridge’.  She stood read with the bottle of wine to commence proceeding but there was Sam’s post in the middle of the roadway!

The stewards ran around in a panic conferring with the official party, while short, stocky, immovable Sam, looking nit unlike a strainer post himself, remained fixed on his piece of fenced off land regarding them with a steady gaze.

Finally, after a hast consultation amongst themselves, the stewards decided that there was nothing for it but to approach the determined landowner and make a further promise to pay for the transfer.

‘All right’, Sam told them. ‘You’ve promised in front of all these people as witnessed, so the post can come up’.

The stewards sighed with relief and rushed forward to take up the shovel and crow bar but Sam stopped them.

‘No’, he said holding up his hand. ‘I put the post in and I’ll take the post up’.

After that, Miss Heaslip broke the wine bottle on the stone worked of the bridge, the crowd cheered lustily and the bridge was declared open to traffic.  The Official part made speakers (at least thirteen) and games and feasting were enjoyed by all.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Beekeepers of One Tree Hill

In the early 1880’s there were 200 or so beekeepers in the Adelaide area probably all employed in other vocations.  Ten years earlier beekeeping on a sizable scale was desired for the colony and several dedicated professionals began to encourage and nurture this notion.   By the 1880’s South Australia is believed that it was the most advanced in beekeeping in Australia.
Honey was valued in cooking, a substitute for the cane sugar which was rare here, and for cross pollination of vegetable and fruit crops.

One of Adelaide’s earliest professional hive-makers was August Fiebig.  He established a shop in 1882 on the arrival of his family eleven months after his own arrival from Peterswaldau, Silesia. He was born in 1883 and upon arrival could not speak a word of English, but having a very good memory and being an avid reader he quickly learnt.

He leased part of a building on the Moger Lane corner.  Fiebig had many talents, he was a musical instrument maker and repairer, band instructor and could play brass wood and reed instruments.  
He traded as A. Fiebig & Son and experimented with making Dzierzon and other hives.    Dzierson was a Prussian clergyman, expert on bees and August’s teacher and introduced the Ligurian bee to Silesia in 1853.  Fiebig experimented with breeding the Ligurian bee on Kangaroo Island in 1885, which his eldest son managed.   It did not find much interest to other bee specialists.  In 1881 Fiebig established an apiary and introduced the Ligurian strain of bees from Italy. The Ligurian bees on Kangaroo Island are believed to be the last remaining pure stock of this bee found anywhere in the world.

August and his family moved to One Tree Hill in 1892, taking up other employment and continued as professional apiarists at their Italian Bee Farm.  He purchased the local store and post office and ran both until a few days before his death in 1928.   His large aviary was run with one of his son.  The apiary lay on the banks of the Little Para river.  Following heavy rain in 1923, the bee hives were flooded the destroying over 200 colonies.
He had four sons, Rudolph who was the local post master, Paul a music teacher who moved to New South Wales, Oscar a state school teacher, and Charles who worked in the Water works in Western Australia.  Rudolph was a skilled carpenter and hive maker.