Grievance Debate: Lobethal's 175th Anniversary


Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 15:19 ): Today, I wish to mark the 175th anniversary of the pioneers of the town of Lobethal. 4 May 1842 is the acknowledged date for when Lobethal was founded, as 18 families from Prussia and their pastor came together in what is now known as Lobethal, the valley of praise, and held a thanksgiving service for where they had arrived. In particular, Pastor Fritzche read the following verse: 

Am vierten Tage aber kamen sie zusammen im Lobet h al; 

Denn daselbst lobten sie den HERRN. Daher hei ss t die St ä tte Lobeth al bis auf diesen Tag. 

That is 2 Chronicles 20:26: 

And on the 4 th day they assembled themselves in the Valley of Praise, for there they blessed the Lord. 

Therefore, the name of the same place was called Lobethal unto this day. 

That is according to the Martin Luther translation of the Bible, which is an incredibly important historical work in itself, and it is critically important for the history of Lobethal. The thanksgiving service that was held on Sunday morning by Pastor Dave Preuss and Bishop David Altus of the Lutheran Church was a beautiful service. Along with the community commemoration of the monument that was unveiled by the Governor, they paid excellent respect to those forefathers and families of the current citizens of Lobethal. The citizens of Lobethal then came together for a beautiful community lunch and throughout Sunday afternoon there was a series of historical tours given. 

They paid respect to the extraordinary travails that those founding families underwent. They were living in Prussia in the early 19th century when there was no religious freedom such as was available to them in South Australia. Pastors A.L.C. Kavel and G.D. Fritzsche were Prussian leaders of their communities who were oppressed by the kaiser. They were imprisoned. They were gaoled for their faith. Even deputations sent to speak to the kaiser were imprisoned during that period. 

In 1840, Pastor Fritzsche's health was failing and he applied for permission to come to Australia with his congregation. That application was granted and, with support from British Quakers, they were able to raise the money to come to Australia. However, there was the extraordinary ordeal of a sea voyage. There were 274 people who left Prussia and 52 died on the way to Australia. Imagine what those families went through. I think an extraordinarily disproportionate share of those who died were from just several families. 

After initially settling in Klemzig and Hahndorf, that community was eventually to purchase land at Lobethal. They had to go through more ordeals to get there because, as they were not British subjects, they had to go through all sorts of things to get that land. However, Gottfried Bormann, J. Christian Henschke, Johann Kleinitz, Gottfried Krause, J. August Mueller, Dienegott Weinert, J. Gottlieb Felsch, Samuel G. Hoffmann, Friedrich Kowald, Carl G. Meier, Friedrich Mueller, Traugott Weinert, Johann G. Hauffe, Emanuel Klar, J. Christoph Kowald, Daniel Menzel, August Weinert, Christian Wentzel and their families were able to finally settle 175 years ago. 

They have had an extraordinary history ever since, celebrated by many of those families at the commemoration on Sunday. It was terrific to see the remaining descendants of those initial founders gathered on one side of the church, which was about half the crowd. Many of these families are still the people who make Lobethal terrific today. 

Lobethal is notable for many things. In the years since, it has grown. In 1844, there were 50 acres of wheat, 10 acres of barley, one acre of maize, 10 acres of potatoes, 17 acres of gardens, 40 cattle, two ponies, 32 pigs and 11 goats. The original schoolhouse was built in 1850. A brewery was built on the site in 1851 where the mill chimney now stands. This site went on to become the Onkaparinga Mill, which served the community until 1989. Over 175 years, Lobethal has seen significant economic activity, such as motor sports and cricket bat manufacturing. Currently, Thomas Foods is one of South Australia's major employers in Lobethal, and other more local businesses are doing extremely well, such as GE Hughes Construction, which employs hundreds of South Australians— 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Sadly, your time has expired. 

Mr GARDNER: —and Tweedvale Milk, and there is so much more going on in this wonderful town. 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Why are people ignoring me today? I just wanted to let you know that the Latin word for 175 years is the dodransbicentennial. In future, you could use the Latin word as well, perhaps.