Local memories shared at Cleve Probus

Mary Edwards introduced Rex Kobelt and Don Hauschild as our guest speakers for the Cleve and Districts Probus meeting.

It's worth noting from the outset that Rex and Don are first cousins and after travelling from the Barossa Valley, the two families lived together at Crossvile for a time after 1909.

Rex spoke first, hoping to avoid fibs and be generally truthful.

Rex's grandparents immigrated from Prussia in 1908, escaping religious oppression and settling in the Barossa Valley at Marananga.

His grandfather worked for a while as a cooper at Seppeltsfield before travelling with his family to connect with the Hauschilds at Crossville in 1909.

It is well known in the district that Rex is a valuable repository of facts and figures about our local history and this attention to detail was not lost on the audience as he told his own story.

After Crossville, the family moved to Darke Peak and opened up their land after their land after entering into a covenant of purchase which allowed them to buy their property for eleven shillings an acre, interest free for three years.

It was interesting to hear that Rex's mother and father were the first couple to celebrate a wedding reception in the newly built Cleve Institute in 1929.

The Darke Peak years witnessed the opening of the railway to Rudall, Kielpa and Kimba as well as the building of rudimentary wood and iron schools and their own house which was built in five weeks.

As well as cereal crops the family kept stock in the form of a 'fruit salad' herd of cattle, merino sheep and Clydesdale horses.

Rex also lamented the loss of nine football teams over the years and that twenty-five years ago Darke Peak boasted a population of eighty people.

Don opened his talk by handing out a Horwood Bagshaw metal medallion engraved with the inscription encouraging us to do all things well.

Don's great grandfather immigrated from Silesia in 1850 and began work in a vineyard in the Barossa.

He eventually moved his family to Crossville before connecting up with the Kobelts, Don was born in 1937 at Cowell as the second son in the family.

He spoke of his childhood which included his schooling at Boothby and Cleve as well as commuting by horse and sulky and an old army truck.

He left school at 14 and his home chores included milking cows, shopping stumps and looking after pigeons, chooks and up to 200 ducks!

In 1954, Don and his brother Geoff bought a car together but the arrangement was sorely tested when his sibling began courting a girl some distance away.

Don was a keen sportsman playing table tennis, tennis and cricket in the summer.

He played football for Arno Bay from 1957 to 1972 and was a party to five successful Grand Finals.

His working life included time with the Highways Department, logging scrub, share-farming, sewing bags in the era before bulk handling, earthmoving, trapping, shooting and dressing rabbits as well as avoiding punch-ups with a wild and woolly collection of unsavoury characters from the big smoke!

Don also served the local community and achieved life membership in many associations.