Borrow Collection

Microcassette 004M, Box 1

Miss B Jones, Toorak Gardens, on German Colonists in South Australia in 1848.

October 1996. Track A. c. 15 mins.

KT Borrow -Well this is about the ship 'Princess Louise' which arrived, there's an article in the South Australian Register 7 August 1849, it came from Hamburg and its first name on the list of passengers is Mucke and doctor, it would be "Mewker" [pronunciation] wouldn't it, and I see the von Reimens, well I just passed a von Reimen Street, it runs into this street doesn't it?

Miss B Jones -Schomburgk.

KTB -And which is the one that affects your family?

Miss BJ -It's Nienaber, here

KTB -[Spells Nienaber]

Miss BJ. They were the ones who brought the mirror with them.

KTB -In Hamburg, that's old walnut and you have it from the family.

Miss BJ -Yes, and Schild, they were also ...

KTB -Did you read the article or did you know a Mr van Abbe who was at the Adelaide University? He wrote an article on the 1848 emigration of Germans who were leaving the political disturbances in Europe.

Miss BJ -No.

KTB - He regards this as the intellectual group. This had a big effect on South Australia because they were all, they weren't peasants. The people that came with Angas were all agriculturalists, but these were another type entirely.

Miss BJ -Oh yes, that's right. There was Schomburgk, he was ...

KTB -Now you have only got to mention that name.

Miss BJ -Yes, he was from the gardens and Buring ... (34)

KTB -That's wine?

Miss BJ –Yes, Schild and Nienaber were my forebears.

KTB -Well, does anyone apart from van Abbe really tried to trace this up?

Miss BJ -Yes, we had a reunion in, when would it have been, 8 ...

KTB -1949, I suppose.

Miss BJ -No, no, it wasn't, it was about 10 years ago or ...

KTB -Well, who organised it?

Miss BJ -One of the Schomburgks, Ian Schomburgk organised that and they were descendants of these families. We had a big gathering down in Port Adelaide.

KTB -Well, as a matter of fact I went there, the Muckes were there and I spoke to them. It was in a building, not in Port Adelaide as such, but nearer the canal that used to be there. It was a big hall. There were hundreds there.

Miss BJ -Yes, that's right.

KTB -Half Adelaide seemed to be there

Miss BJ -Yes, well we were there. (Laughter)

KTB -You didn't speak to me.

Miss BJ -Didn't see you. Yes.

KTB -But I was a godson of a Dora Mucke, who lived at the Myrtles in Hawkers Road, Medindie. They were ...

Miss BJ -And that's how you came to be there.

KTB -Yes, I suppose. Actually. (58)

[Another voice in distance (inaudible)-EMY?)

Miss BJ -I met the Nienabers later on in life, I don't know how many generations down, but Otto who was my mother's grandfather, was a piano tuner, Otto Nienaber, and his son Oscar was also a piano tuner and I met somebody at that reunion who said, "Oh I knew Mr Nienaber, he used to come and tune my piano" and I said "Oh Oscar", and she said "Oh no, the old, the old man", and that would have been my great-grandfather she knew.

KTB -You are musical yourself?

Miss BJ -Oh, sort of. (Laughs) I don't play any instrument.

KTB -I'm in touch with a Miss Heinel, you probably never met, who is descended from Carl Linger who wrote "The Song of Australia". Well, I've got interested in this over the years because I've talked to her and somebody has just bought at a bookshop the, is it the score of The Messiah, with Carl Linger's signature on it. It belonged to him and he really was very important musically in Adelaide and it apparently turns out that the Hamburg Inn was the centre, in many ways, of German culture in Adelaide. That's become the Oriental and now it's the Walsh Building on the corner of Gawler Place and the Mall on the south-east corner. You probably know that building, opposite where the York Theatre used to be.

Miss BJ -Yes, yes.

KTB -Well, I feel very tempted to follow it up because I know Miss Heinel and I know this person who has bought this score of The Messiah. There really was an important musician and he ...

Miss BJ -When he was here, he came back ...

KTB - ... Yes, well you see all these people were notable people.

Miss BJ -The Schneiders. A lot of names are still around.

KTB -The Goethe Society, according to Miss Heinel, about 15 people go to the meetings in Adelaide now, it's very dormant. I feel like this, I've got so much information about early Adelaide now that I feel I can't stop, as it were, because ...

Miss BJ -You need to pass it on. (93)

KTB -It's a pity to let it all, because you see, that mirror wouldn't mean anything to anyone, would it?

Miss BJ -No.

KTB -But it means a lot, actually.

Miss BJ -Yes, well, it means a lot to me, but you know.

KTB -Well, then the question as your friend said, What's the long term fate of all these things?, and now it seems very indefinite because the Government doesn't seem to want a museum. You were talking about the Conservatorium doesn't, is not interested in music.

Miss BJ -No, no, that's right. That's quite right. (Laughter)

KTB -All these bodies are interested ...

Miss BJ -I mean you want to give it to them, but they don't want it.

KTB -They wouldn't be bothered to look at it.

Miss BJ -No, no. I remember that Ian Schomburgk was delighted because he had found descendants of practically the whole lot of them, a lot of these people and one family that he hadn't found, been able to find, was Klewitz, and I just happened to mention to a friend of mine that I was going to this reunion and she said, Oh I wish I knew more about my family?" and she told me later that her grandfather was Klewitz and he came out on the same ship as all these people.

KTB -Well, there was an architect, did you ever hear 'Soward'? Well he had that name as a Christian name.

Miss BJ -Did he?

KTB -Therefore he must have been related. He was George, I can't really be quite certain of the first name but Klewitz. He designed Gawler Chambers, you know, a building on North Terrace...

Miss BJ -I know Gawler Chambers, you know, I worked there for a long time. (119)

KTB -Well, I'm sure that was his second name, Christian name.

Miss BJ -Yes, well I don't know, she didn't really have any other relations except rather distant ones in Sydney. There was nobody else here.

KTB -Well, we....

Miss BJ -She's, she has since died, so I can't ask her any more.

KTB - Actually the house I live in was bought from a family of Heinrich.

Miss BJ -Yes.

KTB -But whether it's any relation I've no idea. But I suppose all these people would be traceable if you tried.

Miss BJ -Mm, I see Schroeder and ...

KTB -There's another Buring, two of them, there if not more. Well this Schomburgk, do you ever see him now.

Miss BJ -No, No. It was just a one off.

KTB -Do you know any of the other ...

Miss BJ -It might have been in 1989, it was 140 years.

KTB -Well, does anyone know what was happening in Hamburg at that time? Did I tell you how I rang recently the English Chaplain at Hamburg?

Miss BJ -You did, yes.

KTB -Well, I still owe him a letter and I got a letter from a museum I wrote there in Hamburg, they've got, they've got millions, literally millions that went to the USA,


Miss BJ -Yes.

KTB -Half the USA ...

Miss BJ -And, they've got a British flag, you said, didn't you?

KTB -The Union Jack, I've got a coloured photo hanging in the ... (142)

Miss BJ -In the church.

KTB -After all the history that's happened and this man's an Englishman, you see. I suppose he speaks German, so he spoke English, he understood what I was saying.

Miss BJ -Yes.

KTB -And Osmond Gilles, you see, he was a Scotsman who was trading in Hamburg and was trading in Van Diemen's Land and then came here and was up here at Glen Osmond and gave it the name. Actually, I found, there was an old Miss Cook. Did you ever know Miss Catherine Cook who taught music?

Miss BJ -I knew her niece, Jean, Jean Cook.

KTB -Well she died about 30 years ago and she was related to the Simpson family, the Moxons. Moxon Simpson is the, lives up at Hallett Road, Burnside. He's, was a relation of Miss Cook and I went to see the birthplace in England of Charles Mann who was Advocate General in the early days. Actually, she said that she knew as a fact that the wife of Osmond Gilles, at Hamburg, jumped out of an upper window and committed suicide, just as they were leaving for South Australia, which tells you something about Osmond Gilles, I suppose.

Miss BJ -Oh, dear.

KTB - But I suppose I was the only person apart from Miss Cook who knew that in recent times here, but I expect it's true, why shouldn't be? Because he was a very dominating person and he just about owned Adelaide, you know.

Miss BJ -Yes, yes.

KTB -He was the Treasurer, when there was no money in the Treasury. Extraordinary character, really. My own great-grandfather mentioned he was sitting at Holdfast Bay with bare feet selling cigars. He travelled in the East, my relation says. Well, I suppose he did. There was an outburst of activity in Scotland in the late 18th Century and they got, there were shipping lines from Leith to Hamburg and Rotterdam and those places on the continent. All this is tied up in the background of this you see in some sort of way. (172)

Miss BJ -Yes.

KTB -But 1848 was the year of revolutions, you may know.

Miss BJ -Yes.

KTB -Europe was on boiling point and they all came out here.

Miss BJ -Well, we were always told that it was because of religious persecution but I think it was more political than ...

KTB -I'm sure it was more political. The first lot may have been religious. The people that came with Angas, they were more peasants, but this lot were political people.

Miss BJ -Well, they chartered this ship, you see, and came out.

KTB -But nobody knows what they were doing in Hamburg.

Miss BJ -No.

KTB -Or doesn't even know they were living in Hamburg.

Miss BJ -Oh well, I would think so, yes.

KTB -Well, I feel very inclined to stir up enquiries because you see, van Abbe went back to England and died. He wrote this article which tells you something, but it doesn't tell you everything by a long chalk.

Miss BJ -Mm.

KTB -All these people dabbled with these things and then they drop it, and they wait for 20 or 30 years and then it's hard to start again.

Miss BJ -Mm, mm. (186)

KTB -Actually, I've got information. I'm going to give an address, myself, to the Pioneers' Association, not that I really know much about it, but how wine was introduced or vines and that seems to have come from Cape Town. But I don't think the people of the Barossa Valley really understand how they got the vines and I'm just hoping that they may, there are bound to be interested in it, because there is so much money involved.

Miss BJ -Yes.

KTB -And I'm just having this little ruse, you see, that they will come to me ...

Miss BJ -Somebody will come and ...

KTB -Because they will want to make money.

Miss BJ -Somebody, somebody will tell you.

KTB -Yes, but you see the Burings, they were probably making wine.

Miss BJ -Oh probably, yes.

KTB -I can remember Rudi Buring, he had a Lancier car. Did you ever know ...

Miss BJ -There was a [Mater?] Buring, I remember. She lived on Portrush Road.

KTB -Wasn't she musical? (199)

Miss BJ -Yes, lived next door to Auntie Kate(?) [tape trails off and cuts out]