Oral History Interview with Gordon Kramm
Interviewer: Birgit Heilmann - Date: 12 August 2010 (Disc 1&2)
Participants: Q: Birgit A: Gordon
Gordon Kramm has lived all his life in Church Street, in Hahndorf. He was born on 8 September 1928. His father, Lawrence William Edger Kramm, born 1904, married Elizabeth Mary Gallasch, who was born in Verdun. Gordon’s great grandparents are the Herbig family - Johann Friedrich and Caroline - who lived in a big gum tree near Springton in the late 1850s.
In the interview Gordon talks about his childhood memories of everyday life in Hahndorf and his memories of going to primary school. Another topic is the family grocery store in Church Street which closed in 1994. He also talks about the hospital in the Hahndorf Academy and mentions the other uses of the Academy building and that Walter Wotzke saved the Acadmey from demolition. Furthermore, Gordon talks about the Hahndorf Town Band where he started to play the cornet at the age of seven. His father started the band in 1926.
(Start of digital file 1)
Q: This is the interview with Gordon Kramm, interviewer is Birgit Heilmann and it's 12 August and we're in Hahndorf and it's for the Hahndorf Academy Project. To make a start I just want to ask you about when were you born and where were you born?
A: I was born in the street where I'm living at the moment in Church Street and quite near the Lutheran school and when was I born 8 September 1928 so I'll be eighty-two next month.
Q: And your parents they lived here in Hahndorf all the time?
A: My mother was born in Verdun a little town just out of Hahndorf there, my mother was born there but my dad was born here in Hahndorf.
Q: Do you have some childhood memories about what it was like here living together with your family, what did you do on a normal weekend?
A: Well naturally of course Monday to Friday was school of course. I was five years old when I started at Hahndorf Primary School and at weekends well on Saturdays well and I was an only boy. Well we had to chop the wood and cart wood and that sort of thing and sweep the yard those sort of chores and everything to do with your hands those days and there wasn’t much other sport activity on a weekend not like now and on Sundays well of course we also used to attend church regularly my parents were church-goers, my grandparents were church-goers and of course those days whether it was church-going or not children always had to do what parents did which is not quite the case these days so maybe of a Sunday afternoon my dad would perhaps take his parents out for drives or go and see relations because my grandfather never ever drove a vehicle so and my dad was an only son and he had to take his parents to go and visit rellies and that sort of thing and if there was room in the car then-
Q: So he was kind of a taxi driver?
A: Yeah if there was room in the car then us kids would and of course we thought that was just it to go for a drive.
Q: What church did you go?
A: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hahndorf ‘cause I was christened there, confirmed there, married there and well still going there for how much longer of course one does not know yeah one doesn’t know.
Q: Did you have a Sunday dinner?
A: Oh yeah. Well those days of course most families were of German origin you always had a roast dinner on a Sunday well us oldies we still call the midday meal dinner I know the young people call it lunch now and dinner at night but us oldies we still tend to call it breakfast in the morning, dinner at midday or thereabouts and still tea at night but no my mother used to always even that didn’t stop her from going to church neither cause those days it was all wood stoves so there was no worries about leaving power points on and this sort of thing and you put your leg of lamb in the oven and that would be cooking while you were at church and often she'd put the vegetables on after we got back from church and it seemed no time we were having dinner as you'd say and we didn’t have to wait around long.
Q: That sounds good so what vegetables did you have?
A: Potatoes roasted was a must you always had roast potatoes and perhaps two or three other vegetables as well but as kids sometimes there were some vegetables you preferred to others but in my case I'm very fond of vegetables and still am and I still cook vegetables myself every night for tea but I know some children can be very, very fussy with vegetables maybe even more so these days because now there's so much stuff in tins that people buy and frozen and that well of course when I was a kid well you never heard of frozen things.
Q: And you mentioned the power plugs do you remember when you were young were there already electric lights here?
A: Yes, I have been told before the power came through here in well everywhere in Hahndorf too there used to be a gentleman used to light some lamps in the street. I don’t know whether they were called acetylene light anyway that obviously must have been before the power came through but when I was young the lights those days the lamps or lights were hanging like from the middle of the street, now the lamps are sort of on the side where the trees are and they get a bit obscured with the trees but when I was a kid the lights were hanging down the centre obviously there must have been a pole yeah but I do remember that quite well and they would only burn till midnight they were always switched off I don’t know just where that was controlled I don’t know for sure but at midnight the town was in darkness but just when that was discontinued I can't remember for sure. Now they burn from night to morning sort of but I do remember quite well if you'd been out anywhere real late which wasn’t very often if you come home after midnight well the town was in darkness maybe a few lights in people’s windows so that’s about all I can say on that point.you come home after midnight well the town was in darkness maybe a few lights in people’s windows so that’s about all I can say on that point.
Q: Just let me ask a question about your school days: you went to the primary school?
A: Yeah Hahndorf primary school yeah well that was the only school here then. Before World War One there was a Lutheran School down the street in that building next to the Academy which is still there, I don’t know what's in there now I know certainly what's in there is catering for the tourist of course but it's that building along side the Academy. My dad went there because he was born in 1904 so obviously when World War One started that was in 1914 and he was obviously ten years old but of course then when the war started it was closed then and then I think he may have finished his schooling at the Hahndorf Primary that I'm not quite sure of sort of thing but so of course we had no choice we had to go the Hahndorf primary school.
Q: And what subjects did you learn?
A: Oh well just more or less the basic ones like arithmetic of course at primary school you didn’t have anything like what we called mathematics I only had maths when I went to high school, Mount Barker High School, maths one and maths two. Oh, and arithmetic and well reading and writing and writing we used to have copybook writing you know we had to really write neat between the lines sort of thing like the vowels that was just more or less the As and Es but then like the Ts and Ls here and that was really, I feel that’s missing these days because a lot of kids these days I know as you get older your writing gets more to scribble but I think we did write a lot neater then than the children do today because of this copybook writing and I think it was a real urgency thing and Friday afternoons I think it was mostly Friday afternoons the boys we also had a lesson what we called gardening we all had plots and we were in groups say four or five boys in a group and we'd have two or three beds to tend to and that was sort of gardening.
Q: What did you grow?
A: Well it was just a few vegetables and that sort of thing.
Q: And what about the girls, did they have something else instead?
A: Yes now they might have done something a bit more like book-keeping, I know girls at high school did book-keeping see when I went to high school boys didn’t do typing or see typing was started just then. We didn’t do typing or book-keeping that was only for girls, while they were doing that we had a choice of if we were to take on agricultural course anything to do with culture which some of us of course weren’t keen on or the other choice was another language and that was Latin and of course we naturally did English and French was compulsory but Latin of course we had to do that then if we didn’t do agriculture and of course when I started high school it was 1941 and of course that’s during the war and of course German was taught there because that was ousted naturally which is rather a bit of a pity because that language has been handed to me now. A lot of people think because I live in Hahndorf I can speak German fluently but I can't.
Q: And your parents or your ancestors were from Germany?
A: Yeah my great grandparents were from Germany that’s right my great grandparents from Germany yes but my grandfather on dad’s side he actually was born here in Hahndorf. He had an older brother and sister that were actually born in Germany but he was the youngest of the three and he actually was born here in Hahndorf.
Q: And did he learn German?
A: Oh he knew German fluently yes.
Q: And did he speak German during the war years?
A: Oh yeah people still did yes oh yes, my dad was what we call most of the Lutheran Church had lay readers if the Minister wasn’t available those days of course ministers used to serve in a parish and would do services elsewhere and then we'd just have a lay reader well those days and even the lay readers used to read in German and my dad he's used to speak it quite fluently. Mum couldn’t speak it fluently but she could understand it so when we were kids and they wanted to say something we weren’t supposed to know of course they'd speak in German we’d have no idea what they were talking about so for them it was handy they didn’t have to ask us to leave the room we could stay there but we wouldn’t know what they were talking about they could have been talking about us we wouldn’t have known so of course my grandmother like my dad’s mum of course she was born up in Springton her parents which are my great grandparents they're the ones that lived in the gum tree there at Springton the Herbig gum tree Friedrich and Caroline and Grandmother she was number seven child there sixteen of them she had six older brothers first and grandmother was number seven the first of the girls but then altogether there was nine boys and seven girls but grandmother wasn’t born in the tree only her two oldest brothers were born in the tree that is for sure. You tell that to young people nowadays and they think you're just pulling their leg you know that that was actually possible; well it was possible well there was nowhere else to live anyway. As far as I know my great grandfather Friedrich was obviously well if he wasn’t the first white man up there in that area he would have been round about the first one and probably the only other sign of life would have been some Aborigines possibly. And of course my mother was born at Verdun just down the road from here only a couple of kilometres away so of course and she has still got relatives there too.
Q: Can you remember how old you were during the war years you were kind of a teenager?
A: Yeah well when the World War Two began that if I remember correctly was the 3 September 1939 well five days later I turned eleven so I was in Grade Six then so I remember it quite vividly.
Q: And can you remember how … because I read something about that it was really the Germans became the enemy alien and it was forbidden to speak German or it was not really good to speak German any more and some people changed their names to English names, do you know about the feelings here in Hahndorf, how was it like, was it any different?
A: Oh not really not that I remember like I said before I was only eleven when the war started but no not really cause the … most of the population here in Hahndorf were pretty well the biggest majority of people would have been of German descent, not all I mean there was some families came from England so some of the folk my age well they probably had grandparents that came from England and that sort of thing I don’t think anybody came from countries like America or anything like that it was mainly England or perhaps as far as Europe’s concerned maybe there might have been a couple of families from Austria perhaps and I do know that there was a few Italian families came out here too. During the war a lot of Italian prisoners-of-war worked for farmers on the land here especially with dairying and that sort of thing and I do recall that too.
Q: But you don’t know if there were some bad feelings against some German descendants?
A: Well I know what you're saying I don't think it was nothing to the extreme; I don’t think because you had a German name people wouldn’t talk to you oh no, no, no this is it. Oh no I don’t think there was any real heavy bad feelings sort of I mean okay maybe in the wider scope there would have been some people that may have had a bit of hatred for the German people but I don’t think it was around this area so much I'm sure of it. The same up in the Barossa well in that area too ‘cause a lot of families when they first came to Hahndorf I believe some did shift up to the Barossa and that’s very German-orientated and I think well maybe it's disappearing now a bit but perhaps just going back some years ago where you wouldn’t hear many people speaking German here it was still spoken quite a lot more so up in the well not just Tanunda but in the Barossa because the Barossa covers more than just Tanunda and I think German was spoken a lot more there than it was here but probably now as I say the German language is disappearing from here but on the other hand of course it's handy to know languages. We had quite a few families that came out here and well I presume probably soon after the war came out here to live and well there were some really nice families nice people and that sort of thing, you could tell by their dialect they were sort of German but after a few years that disappeared I mean when they spoke they just sounded like well you would almost think they were Australians, Aussies so there you are. I've got a brother-in-law, he came out here when he was sixteen so that’s about sixty years ago and some of his words have still go that little bit of a English sound.
Q: He came from England?
A: Yeah he came from Gilford Surrey in England and that’s how come he met my sister you see and yes of course he's lived here ever since, at that time of course he had parents still living over in England and actually when my sister and him were married they went back to England for their honeymoon and stayed over there for nearly twelve months but my sister’s never been back there again but he has been back once or twice. His mother only died oh she was ninety nine and she only died perhaps maybe ten years ago I can't remember quite for sure. They did come out here once I actually had met them but his dad’s been dead many years ago.
Q: Can I go back to your school time area, when school was out did you have a favourite shop to go on your way home or ?
A: Shopping oh yeah well you see actually speaking we had our own little grocery shop here so of course we didn’t have to go elsewhere to shop ‘cause people came to us, of course those days we were just one of those little corner stores and well in Hahndorf we had opposition there were two or three others in Hahndorf here the baker shop down the street close to the Academy there he baked his own bread and that Mr. Smith but he also sold groceries and this sort of thing and then he used to deliver bread daily and of course the butcher here in Hahndorf well he used to deliver the meat with a horse and cart even in the middle of summer and we did have hot summers those days too let me tell you. I can still remember quite vividly coming round in the horse and cart and then we'd open the back of the cart there and he'd have a little branch of gum leaves where if there were any flies or anything that’s all he had to chase the flies off but we never ever had any bad meat ever.
Q: So the meat was on the cart.
A: Inside like in a wooden van.
Q: And then you stored it in the kitchen?
A: Yeah well that was another thing there was no refrigerators those days there was just virtually you had the choice of either an ice-chest or some people those days I don’t say all used to have a cellar under their homes and that’s where they used to keep stuff.
Q: And do you have a cellar here?
A: Yes there's a cellar up in where our little shop was there's a cellar there because we used to even put the cool drinks down there to keep them cool and that sort of thing or any perishable lines cheeses and things like that yeah and oh yes -
Q: And what kind of shop did you have?
A: Oh we sold the full range of groceries and we used to sell fruit and veg which we used to get from the Oldies [Old East End Market] down at the markets down Adelaide there down the bottom of Rundle Street there. That Oldies [Old East End Market] down Rundle Street that only closed down in 1989 so that’s only twenty one years ago in October and that’s when the market then went out to Pooraka and then I had to go up there and get my fruit and veg there too but I only did that for five years because in 1994 which is five years later that’s when I retired from that, well when we closed the shop you see.
Q: Your father opened the shop here?
A: My grandfather actually started yeah and he used to take produce to town with a horse and wagon.
Q: Once a week or?
A: Well probably yeah it would have been more often than once a week I don't think, that’s something I never, ever queried him about but he used to take produce to town to the market like a lot of people those days made butter their own butter and some people used to make a lot of butter and we'd sell this dairy butter we used to call it we'd sell that in the shop and then what surplus there was we'd take down to the market and eggs and stuff but see then coming back well then we'd bring other produce back here like we didn’t produce here so it wasn’t that you were going down empty but either way you still had produce going down and produce coming back.
Q: And you helped in the shop during your school time or after school?
A: Working you mean?
A: Yeah well funny you ask that I used to it may not have been every day after school see as I said before we used to deliver and I used to go with my father sometimes then too especially those days especially in the farm houses where we went there would always be gates well that was always one job I had to was to always get out and open the gate and sometimes had to shut it then as we went in because there might be cattle there and that sort of thing and so I do recall doing that quite often but then I would well help wherever I could sort of thing but of course after I left high school then when I was about sixteen I think well that’s when then I sort of did that my dad was still working in the business, I was working for him actually I was working for him.
Q: It was handy to live quite next to your shop?
A: Yeah that’s right yes well that’s true the shop we're referring to is of course that’s where I'm actually living now but I actually was born in the house just across the road over here in Church Street and that house was built in 1927 for my parents when they were married and of course then I came along the following year so that’s I spent my first seventeen years over there but we shifted over here in 1945 and I've been here ever since well if my maths serves me right that would be about sixty five years ago I've been living here under this roof now so I haven't been a wanderer I don't think. Sometimes especially where families where perhaps the husband is a school teacher well they got no choice they have to shift around and that sort of thing and I often think well it might be good, it might be exciting but just don’t know whether I would have liked that I was just quite happy to be here where I am sort of thing.
Q: And how long did you have your shop open?
A: We closed it at the end of 1994 so that’s sixteen years ago this coming November since it's been closed yeah of course that’s when the major like supermarkets and that were starting to – and of course it was starting to crush the little man and of course little shops like ours were closing down everywhere which some people used to say it was rather sad there wasn’t quite the personal linking with customers then but however well that’s we're living in a modern world now and well what hasn’t changed, everything’s changed through the way people eat nowadays and the way people dress and there's all these modern motor cars where I'm sure if our grandparents saw some of the modern motor cars now I think they'd be scared of them.
Q: Yes I'm sure. And your shop you were in the shop working here and you also go a fruit and veg round?
A: Yeah I used to deliver because my wife she naturally helped.
Q: And where did you go, did you have like an order, some people order something and then you deliver it or did you just go from door to door and ask them?
A: I used to go out once a week for orders for grocery orders cause naturally I didn’t have a big enough vehicle to carry stock of everything so I used to go out on the push bike and gather grocery orders and then we'd get them ready at home here and I was doing it before I was married but before I was married well my dad we still employed an outside girl sort of thing and then my mother was a widow for over eighteen years and she even after my dad died she used to still actively help in the shop too as well and my sisters still did before they married, I had two sisters they used to help here too before they were married because once they were married of course they made different lives then for themselves.
Q: And what kind of products did people order?
A: Oh well those days it was grocery things a lot of things available nowadays in the supermarket weren’t on the market those days but all the basic things were available you know with fruit and veg that I used to – people didn’t have to order that I would pack my van with potatoes, onions and fruit and bunch vegetables and that sort of thing and people would just when I called there then I'd get their order. Some people would come out to the van and tell me what they wanted, some people I just went into their homes and they just gave me a list of what they wanted and I had used to have a veg book there was a space for every vegetable and I knew them all off by heart from left to right so it was easy for me, it certainly has all changed that is for sure so now of course I have to go to the supermarket myself to do my buying but I do know especially with fruit and veg I do know good quality things from not so good quality, some of the quality well particularly the supermarkets is not that real flash at times but I don't get my fruit and veg from the supermarket of course you've got no choice you’ve got to get your groceries there but I get my fruit and veg still from a proper green grocer near the supermarket and the quality in the small shop like that over all in my opinion is a lot better quality than in the supermarket sort of thing.
Q: Let's go back I'm really interested in the Hahndorf Academy and how it was used before it was an Art Gallery and I hear that it was a hospital and a nursing home before?
A: No nursing home wouldn’t be quite correct way to explain it was a hospital, in my time when I was born I was born at home and so were a lot of other babies but at that time those that weren’t born at home were born in the Academy which was a hospital. Old Dr Auricht he was our only doctor those days now we've got about eleven doctors in Hahndorf but Dr Auricht he was our only doctor there and in lots of families he brought three generations into the world.
Q: What time was this?
A: I was born in 1928 so it must have been in that era I should imagine perhaps during the 1920s 1930s. I can't really tell you when it was closed but I do know when it was going ‘cause when I mentioned to you before I was only five when I had my tonsils out down there cause those days that was fairly common kids having their tonsils out at a young age.
Q: Did you have to stay overnight there?
A: No, no, my mum just took me down in the morning and I can still remember walking in there and of course you had an anaesthetic of course and I can still remember old Dr Auricht carrying me up to the old Dodge car in front of the Academy but I was a little bit crook for a few days after. I know it was 1933 yeah that would have been the year before I started school because I started school in 1934 so yeah I do recall that. It was built I believe as I say I hope I'm not misleading you there but I believe it was first built, it was a boys’ college yeah.
Q: Can you remember how it looked like inside the hospital, where was the operation room?
A: Yeah, no that side wing that part there that goes towards where the old school was there I know we went in there but I think the main operating part might have been more in the back section of the main double-storey building here as I say I can't just say I'm a hundred percent perfect on that one but I do remember sort of going in there but no it was a boys’ college there and the boys used to stay there that’s why the top section was the dormitory quarters and I believe I can remember once as a kid my grandfather said he used to do a bit of part-time work there whether it was a bit of maintenance work or just around the grounds looking – not teaching but whether he just put a few hours a day or a few hours a week I'm not quite sure but otherwise it has – well at one stage in latter years it would have been four families living in the place.
Q: After it was a hospital?
A: Oh yes after it was a hospital there and a dentist used to be there he had rooms there but I do know that there was sometimes up to four families living in there ‘cause it was big enough for all four of that and then during the war years when well I think it must have been around about 1942 or something like that we had a lot of soldiers billeted around here and most people well I don’t say were forced to but we all had to take soldiers in and feed them and have a bed for them and their main depot was down at the Academy ‘cause I can remember where some of the cars park now at the back there I remember there would be army vehicles being there it was 1942 see I was 14 and I remember that quite vividly so that did serve as a bit of an army depot there for a while but we met some fantastic – like we were from Australia but some from Western Australia and New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, we even met a couple who actually lived in Adelaide why they didn’t go back to their parents I don’t know but we had all in all over not all at once but we had about up to three at once but I think we had twelve or thirteen different soldiers here and after they left here you could correspond with a few of them.
Q: Oh that’s very good.
A: Yes but that did gradually fade out then. No I can't remember of course there used to be a balcony all around the outside of the yeah which I dare say there is photos about on that yeah and then that wall that still remains the bit in the main street part there that used to be right around into Balhannah Road then I do remember that yeah I think there's a bit of a section still there yet where they got those roses there but some maintenance work has been done on it and a few years ago I think there was a new roof put on there but it was very, very close to destruction at one stage it was only more or less through the efforts of the late Walter Wotzke that saved it from destruction so we've got him to thank that it still stands today and now look at the publicity it's doing for Hahndorf now. I know that not everybody is interested in that field I know that but obviously there is still a lot of people highly interested in that because if ever you're driving up and down the street well there's always people going in and coming out and they have quite a few functions there in the garden alongside which I say doesn’t interest every body but-
Q: It's a good place to go.
A: Yes, oh yes it really is. Of course I used to know Mr Hans Heysen. I knew him personally too I used to deliver fruit and veg to him too so I used to see him every week and his wife too she was a lovely lady but ironically enough she never did the buying he always came out to the van and did the buying but he was a lovely man a real gentleman. After all said and done Heysen well that name is just about worldwide known but I mean there were no airs and graces with him he was just as basic and as down to earth as you could wish anybody to be and considering his profession too with his gift and he was a gifted talented man there was no doubt about that ‘cause often sometimes too when I'd call there and I'd go down to the house there and Mrs. Heysen said oh well I forget what she used to call him whether she used to call him hubby or Mr. Heysen I don’t know and often I'd have to go up to the studio there and go and get him and he'd come down and that sort of thing yes he was certainly a very interesting person that’s for sure and it was very sad when he passed on but I think he was about ninety when he passed away. I knew his three sons too but of course he did lose two daughters very early in life. I think Lilian was only about sixteen and Josephine was only about eighteen or nineteen I believe but I did know Nora very well that was his oldest daughter of course she was virtually the only one that took after her father especially with painting because most of the time that I remember she lived in Sydney but a few times she used to come home into her mum and dad’s and that and I did know her too and she was a very gracious woman too very gracious and that sort of thing.
Q: And you also have a hobby you were saying?
A: Yeah well I suppose I was never I followed sport like I always liked the cricket and football but I was never athletically gifted at high school we used to have sports day and compete against say Murray Bridge High and Strathalbyn High and that but I was never one of the better athletes but I did like music because my dad actually did start the Hahndorf Town Band in 1926 and I don’t know what prompted him to start it I just don’t know it wasn’t his from my grandfather I don’t think. My grandfather he was more gifted in singing he always had a loud voice in church singing and especially Sunday morning it was always German services and as a kid I used to go with him sometimes and of course during a long sermon sometimes he'd come out with the white peppermints and I used to enjoy the white peppermints during the sermon but I couldn’t understand the language like I mentioned before but then again of course it would take two people to hold up one of those German hymn books and well you knew the tune so you sort of got involved with that sort of thing but no dad started in 1926 and not that he knew music that well but a lot that joined the band then he just taught them in one of our back sheds here at home here -
Q: And who was attending the town band, who was playing in the town band?
A: Well at that time it was mainly all Hahndorf residents. The Hahndorf Town Band is still going but there's not a great deal that live in Hahndorf now but that’s with all brass bands they don’t all live in the township where they I mean for instance now like Tanunda Town Band is still going strong they are one of only two A-grade bands in South Australia but there's quite a few that play in the Tanunda band come up from Adelaide but they are probably more talented players and well like to play in A-grade band whereas most of the bands in the city most of them are only C-grade bands, Salisbury is a B-grade band but yes well of course then I was only to my knowledge I was only about seven when I started playing.
Q: What instrument?
A: Cornet, I played cornet all my life and of course dad taught me of course do join the band too it's not just learning to produce a sound and play an instrument you’ve got to be able to read music too so if anybody wants to join a band nowadays if they know music if they can read music of course they're half way there then it's just a matter of being taught how to play the instrument and that doesn’t happen overnight neither that all comes with perseverance and practice. A lot of people would say oh we could never blow an instrument well there's no blowing at all sound is all produced with the lip and tongue I know that’s hard to understand but you'd understand it once you were just told the procedure yeah so I was pretty young when I started and -
Q: How often did you meet for practice?
A: Always once a week all year round but then in the well just a few years after, you're still in the 1930s we started going to Tanunda brass band competitions and then often then we'd have an extra night twice a week which a lot of other bands did too.
Q: And did you win the competition?
A: Oh yes we had success up there oh yeah we had success it's like everything else like other sport well you can't win every time it depends on the adjudicator on the day who he fancies and the interpretation of how pieces are presented-
Q: And what kind of pieces have you played?
A: Well years ago every grade eg. A, B, C, D and there what we call a test piece was chosen for every grade and of course it was rather a really difficult piece and we did months and months practising it rehearsing and then also we had to play a hymn tune three verses of the hymn and that was also judged and then we also had to play another selection or an overture which we called an own choice number OC own choice number and that was also judged too and then besides that of course there would be a street march where your drill is judged and you still had to play it as well you couldn’t just be watching your rank you had to play as well the public certainly didn’t want to hear a soundless band they wanted to hear and that so that was also judged and then we also had a quickstep out on the oval where your marching and your playing your music was judged but unfortunately now there is still state competitions but the quickstep now they don’t have that any more that requires a lot of rehearsing too and I remember when I was young too every Sunday morning before church we'd be up at the oval here for about an hour at least doing our quickstep because with the quickstep it wasn’t just a straight march not like in the street, with the quickstep you’d be doing counter marches and left turns, right turns, left wheels, right wheels and it all takes practice.
Q: You also played for example some celebrations in Hahndorf for the shooting club?
A: Yeah our band played, if my memory serves me right I think the Schuetzenfest was started here about 1966 or something I think, it was here for twenty-nine years and I've got a feeling I think the Hahndorf band played every year bar about one year I think about the first or second year I think we had another commitment and we had to turn it down but otherwise we played but then when I went to Adelaide down at Port Road way there and we played down there too for a while yeah. So anyway it was really quite good. Since I played in Hahndorf, I played in Hahndorf band for fifty-nine years straight and then I did actually play in Marion City Band for fifteen years and at the moment I'm playing in Glenelg Band I've been there about five years.
Q: So why did you change the band?
A: Well the main reason here was it was in the early 90s well it happened in all bands numbers fell dramatically and there wasn’t much of a challenge then any more so I went down there I knew the conductor that was down there and a few of us went down there and they were wanting a bit of help too and so that’s what happened then. Of course three or four years I was still going to both but on different nights so it was possible then but then I went there for fifteen years which I quite enjoyed and well it's amazing the people I've met through banding. In lots even the Adelaide bands I don’t know everybody personally but I think I know somebody in all bands in Adelaide and even up in the Barossa. I know different folk yeah and of course in the early days too there was no females ever played in a brass band that was a no oh yeah but it was only in later years I think it was when the junior band movement started in the late 1960s that young girls and that were interested and of course it was found out some were quite gifted and talented players and today well if it wasn’t for the females a lot of bands wouldn’t exist some bands have probably got more females playing than males yeah. Down at Glenelg it’s a bit of an exception there is only maybe perhaps three or four ladies and the rest of us are all guys so we've only got a very small representation of females but most other bands the city bands too and well even here in Hahndorf they are very fortunate that there is – some of the girls too are very good players just because they're ladies that doesn’t mean they can't play they really can play yeah. Of course now too in later years especially at the schools in my day there wasn’t concert bands with flutes, saxophones and piccolos etc. etc. nowadays especially at the schools and especially at the secondary schools that’s encouraged more and that’s why brass bands are struggling into getting many young ones now any young ones that are a bit musically inclined they're joining concert bands yeah but they're all right I'm not knocking them they're all right they're quite good ‘cause the last two Sundays down at Strathalbyn there they’ve had a festival the first two Sundays in August and they’ve been having that for ten years and there were about ten bands each Sunday and they all were like about twenty-five minutes or half hour to play and they get terrific followings, it’s not a contest you just play but then again we've got to practise up a program we just can't get music out the week before and we'll play this, we'll play that we've got to you know yeah.
Q: I think that’s really interesting to play or to do things.
A: My son David actually this is his third year he's been conducting Glenelg band but he's still a player yet at Hahndorf as well but he's a fairly gifted player and he was always very good with theory too ‘cause not just my son but my two daughters too were as kids played the piano. There was a lady in Hahndorf who used to be a piano teacher and of course she was a very good teacher especially with theory and so of course that’s where David of course got his background too was theory he's really quite good with that and my late wife too she was a very good pianist, she used to love music, she used to be one of the organists in St. Paul’s Church at Hahndorf, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and then she used to play the piano at a lot of nursing homes and daycare centres she did that every week for years and years and she was doing just perhaps a few weeks before she got extremely ill and she used to love it – I liked more classical music she wasn’t quite so keen on classical music but she did used to like music. She used to love playing the pieces what the old people used to like especially in the nursing homes she'd play all those old tunes which a lot of them they knew so of course that’s why her playing was quite popular there.
Q: I'd like to go to another question.
(End of disc 1) (Start of disc 2)
Q: So this is the second tape for Gordon Kramm and it's still the 12 August. I think the last question I want to know because I think it's nice to know is what's your impression how has Hahndorf changed during the years?. I think you are really good person because you are living here all your life.
A: Yeah well it's just hard to condense that down perhaps to one sentence really.
Q: Oh you can use more sentences.
A: Yeah well like I said I've got memories of when I was a kid the Hahndorf main street was the only street that was bituminised all these streets where Church Street where I am now and Balhannah Road yeah were just all gravel roads and that sort of thing so even the streets have changed and of course some of these what we used to call the back streets have all been widened and that sort of thing and a bit more modern-looking. Yeah of course the main street too has changed a lot. Years ago most of the buildings that are still standing were all private homes now of course a lot have been converted into well delis, arts and crafts shops and restaurants and it's unbelievable. We always did have the two hotels in Hahndorf yeah they were always here. My first memories of The German Arms was owned by a Mr. Watson and the other hotel was owned by a Mr Wallace ‘cause The German Arms we used to call that the bottom hotel and the other one was the top hotel but yeah so I mean the main street certainly has changed dramatically and especially now particularly of a weekend well it's even getting nearly as bad during the week well it can take you quite a while even to drive through the street and then you’ve got to be watching out for cars that are parked both sides you don’t get your rear vision mirror knocked off and there is quite a bit of off-street parking now I believe but naturally of course it has become such a tourist town I think because of being a German town, well I'm told it's the oldest German town in Australia let alone just South Australia .
Q: And can you remember when this did start, tourists coming to Hahndorf?
A: Well yeah now that’s a bit of a tough one, it only happened gradually but it's been for quite a while now but just to really pinpoint a decade that I just really don’t know there may be people that might be able to help you in that respect but I can't suggest who I just don’t know but these last years it's certainly about ten or twenty years it really has become so busy. Years ago of a Sunday well there was nothing open the hotels were closed and we never had the – the baker shop and the butcher shop they would never open on a weekend they might be open Saturday mornings but then Saturday afternoons they'd be closed and Hahndorf main street was quiet and I remember just as an instance Easter time, Good Friday, nothing was open then and it was quiet as quiet you'd go to church because there was always church services and it would be quiet now well Good Friday is no different to any other day it's real busy that is for sure but it doesn’t matter who you speak to if I run into some strangers whether it's in Adelaide or anywhere they might ask you where you come from and I'll say Hahndorf, have you heard of Hahndorf oh yeah been there done that been to The Old Mill for a meal or I can't recall speaking to anybody even strangers that have never heard of Hahndorf. The Schuetzenfest certainly did put the place on the map there was no doubt about that because it was just so they reckon when it was at Hahndorf -
Q: When did it start, the Schuetzenfest?
A: 1966 or ‘64 I'm just not quite certain on that, I did know for sure in ‘64 or ‘66 yeah something like that middle 60s anyway but oh they used to have 45,000 to 50,000 here and that’s a lot of people, people used to have to park in a lot of the paddocks up there near the oval and they'd often be men from the fire brigade would help do the parking and it was absolutely chaos yeah I mean our main street was closed to all ordinary traffic it was unbelievable but no as I say it's certainly one wonders how it can change much from now on maybe in twenty years time which I won't be here then you just wonder how much more can it change or how much more moderner can it get I often wonder but obviously it will change I suppose will change but of course a lot of the buildings I suppose here in Hahndorf will remain I dare say heritage sort of plays a part there.
Q: Do you think all the heritage buildings they’re cared after?
A: Yeah that’s right so from that aspect that probably won't change so much but yeah you wonder sometimes how it can change but it obviously will. We thought motor vehicles 20 years ago were modern and they couldn’t get any moderner and now twenty year old vehicles are just about banned off the road now yet then we thought they were well fantastic.
Q: Do you have a favourite place in Hahndorf?
A: For eating do you mean?
Q: Just for if you think of Hahndorf what's your favourite place to go?
A: Probably I don’t go to a lot of places in Hahndorf as much as perhaps some locals do. Our old band hall used to be in Pine Avenue there which we had to leave there when the freeway come through because the freeway went right close to it there I don’t know whether you know the building I'm referring to it was a hexagonal building with a room underneath on ground level and then a floor up top, there were steps outside and we used to play up top there especially Christmas Eve and that sort of thing well that building always held a lot of sentiment for me. My father used to run Five Hundred cards there we used to have up to seventy-two people playing cards there of a Saturday night I think alternate Saturday nights and of course until that got closed well that was always one place where I used to go and that was always -
Q: What was it called?
A: Band Rotunda but now there's people live in it the highways said that it would have to be destructed but it was never destructed but it would have been too close for us to have been there so the band actually got a block of land down here in Balhannah Road here now quite close to St. Michael’s Church close to where I'm living so otherwise well I don’t know of course The Old Mill I remember that when a Mr Wittwer used to sell bran, pollard, chaff and he used to sell wood and everything there so how that’s changed into a now look how popular that is two or three hundred people there they cater for in food and that sort of thing but of course it got renovated a lot so that has changed a lot but I've still got the old memories of how it used to be but as I say my church … as I said before I've been a member there all my life so I've got a soft spot for that building so that’s just how it is.
Q: Thanks very much for all the information it's really nice [ … ]