Linda Storch’s memories!
Hi I’m Chloe Hyndman. I’m 12 years old and go to Hahndorf Primary School. Recently I sat with Linda Storch, aged 91 years old and asked her about living in Hahndorf.
How long have you been living in Hahndorf?
My whole connection with Hahndorf is 89 years. I lived here until I was 21, married and went to the South East but always visited quite often. I went to Adelaide and retired but eleven years ago I came up here to live, to make my home here again.
How did you spend your childhood living in Hahndorf?
When I was two years old my father bought 100 acres of beautiful land for a thousand pounds. We walked to school – two miles morning and night, rain or shine. When I was twelve I had to leave school, to go and work on my father’s farm. I had no option, I worked really hard. I baked bread, I milked cows, I made butter with the big churn. I baked German cake, killed chooks - all the things you do on a farm. The strange part of it is, I never resented it because we didn’t know any different. We obeyed our parents and just did as they said.
Did you always make your food/meals from the farm? Definitely, we were very, very poor, poverty stricken as most people were then. Most of the things we ate were produced on the farm. That was the fortunate part of being on a farm, because you could produce most things – when the chooks stopped laying then they were killed, it was just a matter of survival.
What did you like about Hahndorf?
Hahndorf was mainly a German Village because the migrants came out from Germany in the 1830s to have a better life.
We were mostly German people who spoke German, we felt at ease because we were part of it. It was just a dear little town where everybody was friendly and good to everyone. Because most of them were Lutheran, we had the same interest in church and all the activities to do with the church.
There was nothing here when our ancestors came in 1838. They built it up to what it is today. Their striving and their hardship is deeply embedded in the roots of Hahndorf and it’s got a soul that nobody could ever alter. This is how we all feel about it.
Because there was such a lack of money the men here had to go further a field to find work, including my husband. There was a lot of hardship but very much togetherness with the people because they were all going through the same thing.
Do you still speak German?
Very, very little. My German is not what it should be because I haven’t practiced it. Years ago you’d walk down the street and all you’d hear would be the German language.
The Old Mill, which is now a wonderful restaurant, used to sell grain, chaff and hay. I can remember going there with my father when he bought wheat for the chooks, sitting on the hay and they were discussing everything in German.
What do you notice is different in Hahndorf now?
The difference is so vast that I sometimes wonder if I’m living in Hahndorf. It’s become very cosmopolitan! In the beginning when we came from Tanunda we came in a horse and buggy. The soul of Hahndorf is always there, it always will be. It’s a feeling we all have, but the outward changes are very different to what I knew as a young girl. Thank you Linda