Unearthing WWI History at Friends of the Gallery Birthday

Our special February meeting of the Eudunda Family Heritage Gallery ‘Friends of the Gallery’ morning tea which celebrated the Galley’s Birthday each year was combined with The Probus Club of Eudunda & Districts this year.

Eudundas Citizen of the Year Pam Dutschke cutting the Heritage Gallery Birthday Cake Feb 2017
Eudundas Citizen of the Year Pam Dutschke cutting the Heritage Gallery Birthday Cake Feb 2017

Our guest speaker was Michael Wohltmann who is a retired school teacher, historian and author of his book “A Future Unlived” ‘A forgotten chapter in South Australia’s History’.

During research for his book he found that during World War I, there were 90 internment camps in Australia and Asia Pacific,  with two on Torrens Island in South Australia.

During the ‘Great War’ as it was called, some 6,890 people were interned with German/Austrian heritage, 4,500 being Australian residents. Michael says that many were classed as model citizens before the war. They were often interned because of some loyalty with their fore-fathers and some were still corresponding with distant relatives in Europe.

The Barossa Valley, Eudunda and Loxton were some towns with a predominately German heritage.

One precious piece of information, Michael unearthed relating directly to Eudunda was that a report in the Kapunda Herald, 12th Feb. 1915 tells of the ‘Citizens Forces’, conducting a blockade in Eudunda. At that time they were the reserve units of the Australian Army.

None of those attending the meeting had heard of this before, so it was very interesting. Another Chapter to the facinating Eudunda history.

Many German descendants joined the services to fight for Australia and its allies. This is evident locally with many names recognized on the local Honour Rolls.

Michael Wohltmann, Delilah Balmer, Fay Grosser , Michael Bateman
Michael Wohltmann, Delilah Balmer, Fay Grosser , Michael Bateman

We thank Michael Wohltmann for his very interesting talk.

More information and purchases of Michael’ book can be found at http://torrensislandinternmentcamp.com.au

You can find another report with more detail on the Eudunda Portal
SA and Eudundas World War 1 Links

 

 

Friends of the Gallery – Morning Tea 15th Feb 2017

Friends of the Gallery – Morning Tea on Wed. 15th Feb 2017 at 10:30am
At the Eudunda Town Hall
Combined with the Eudunda & Districts Probus Club
Guest Speaker – Michael Wohltmann
Author of “A Future Unlived”

A forgotten chapter in South Australia’s History. A history of the internment of German Enemy Aliens on Torrens Island in South Australia during 1914-1924

START: Probus 10am
All Welcome from 10:30am
A Light Luncheon at 12 noon
Join ‘Friends of the Gallery” while you are there.

Friends of the Gallery – Morning Tea 2016

Friends of the Gallery – Morning Tea
Wed. 10th Feb 2016 at 10:30am
Eudunda Town Hall

Good attendance from ‘Friends of the Eudunda Family Heritage Gallery’.
Kathy Handke, as the Eudunda Citizen of the Year had the honour of cutting this year’s beautiful cake. Kathy was actually quite new to the proceedings as she had never been able to attend due to work. Now that she has ‘retired’ she can finally see some of the great things happening around Eudunda.

Marcus Reseigh recited six of his original poems, which were based on the district and world around us.
It was announced that some new books were available for sale and others were purchased for the reference library, and a mystery object was voted on.
Membership to the ‘Friends of the Eudunda Family Heritage Gallery’ are due.
Many took the opportunity to renew theirs at the morning tea.

A new Gustav’s Newsletter No. 46 – Feb 2016 was also handed out.