OUR NATION BUILDERS.
SKETCHES OF SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PIONEERS
[By the Rev. John Blacket.]
V.—THE FIRST PARLIAMENT.
Many of the nation builders whom we have already mentioned sat in this Parlia- ment, which represented the inauguration of responsible government. We now deal
with prominent pioneers who had no seats in the previous Legislative Councils of the nation, but who set sail upon the stormy sea of politics in 1857. Mr. Walter Duffield. Mr. Duffield arrived in 1839, and first set- tled near Echunga, but was best known as a conspicuously useful resi- dent of Gawler. He did a great deal to establish the milling indus- try. He was elected to the Assembly in 1857 as a member for Barossa, and sat for several years subsequently in both Houses of legislature. In 1865-6 he was Treasurer of the province, and throughout his life was prominent in the mercantile circles of the community. He died in November, 1882, aged 66. Dr. Charles George Everard. Dr. Everard arrived by the Africane in 1836, was present when the proclamation was read at Holdfast Bay, and sat in the first Legislative Council under the new con- stitution. He was father of the better known Mr. William Everard, who, as a youth, came out in the Africane, and in after years played a conspicuous part in the social, political, and business life of the province. He died on March 30, 1876, aged 82. The family name is commemorated in the nomenclatures of the state. Mr. Charles Bonney. Mr. Bonney saw South Australia grow from infancy to manhood, and for 25 years was one of its most honourable and success- ful public men. The present and coming generations of South Australians should know why "Lake Bonney" is so named, and something of the person whose name it bears. He was born in 1813, near Stafford, in England. His father was a Church of England minister. He was edu- cated at Rugby Grammar School, and in 1834 sailed for New South Wales. Two years after the new settlement in South Australia was formed, and Mr. Bonney ac- cepted an invitation from Mr. Joseph Haw- don to take cattle overland to it. The journey was dangerous, the blacks being hostile. The party came along the River Murray by way of Lake Bonney. Some mistake was made in the route. They went too far south of the primitive settlement, and made a halt where the township of Noarlunga now stands. Here they fell in with some men hunting kangaroos to supply the immigrants with fresh food, and these kangarooers gave them the information they needed. Writing of this trip some years after Mr. Bonney said—"Adelaide was then a collection of rude huts, with a few more substantial buildings in course of erection. The people were surprised and delighted at the arrival of a herd of cattle overland. Up to this time they had been living almost exclusively upon kangaroo flesh." After spending a few weeks among the immi- grants, Mr. Bonney returned to the older colonies, having arranged with Mr. Hawdon to bring another herd over for him. On this second trip he was to open direct com- munication with Victoria, instead of follow- ing the course of the Murray. The party started in February, 1839, with 300 cattle, several horses, and two bullock drays. In addition to the leader, there were nine Europeans and two natives. This party came out at Lacepede Bay, in the south east. They opened a lot of new country, and named Lake Hawdon, Mount Muir- head, and Mount Benson. Water at times being scarce, and the weather terribly hot, the trip was exhausting. On one occasion the party had to drink the blood of a calf to assauge their thirst. The next time we meet with Mr. Bonney he is in company with Mjr. O'Halloran and Mr. Tolmer in the south-east trying to capture the blacks who murdered the crew and passengers of the Maria. During Governor Grey's time he became Commissioner of Crown Lands. This was then merely a Civil Service ap- pointment like that of Postmaster-General. In 1844, in company with Governor Grey and Mr. George French Angas, he went on an expedition to the south-east, and, as a result, some good country was made avail- able for development between the Rivers Glenelg and Murray. In the first Parlia- ment Mr. Bonney was elected for East Tor- rens, and was Commissioner of Crown Lands. In 1866 he retired from political life, and in 1869 he was appointed Manager of Railways, a position which he occupied two years. Then he became Inspector of Lands, and eventually removed to New South Wales, where he lived on a pension from the South Australian Government— he was indeed the last of the pensioners. During three years before his death he was blind, and for two years bedridden. He died on March 15, 1897, in his 84th year. Sir William Milne. This distinguished citizen was born near Glasgow, in May, 1822, and came to South Australia in 1839. He first went into the north on a station to get experience in sheepfarming, but subsequently became a merchant in the city. In 1857 he was elect- ed to the first House of Assembly as the representative of Onkaparinga, and in 1860 was chosen as a member of the Legislative Council. He served in several Ministries, and introduced valuable legislation. He succeeded Sir John Morphett as President of the Legislative Council. He died on April 23, 1895, aged 72 years. Mr. Alexander Hay.
This eminently practical and highly useful colonist was bom in Fifeshire, Scotland, in 1820, and came to South Australia in 1839. At first he engaged principally in agricul- tural and pastoral pursuits, but in 1857 he was elected to re- present Gumeracha in the first Parlia- ment. He sat in both Houses for some years, and was Commissioner of Public Works in 1860. He assisted in passing the Real Property Act, advocated the selling of waste lands on credit as well as for cash, and brought in Bills to legalise marriage with a deceased wife's sister, and to author- ise the construction of the overland tele- graph line. He was actively interested in religious and philantrophic enterprises, as well as in undertakings of a commercial character. At one time he was president of the Young Men's Christian Association and chief of the Caledonian Society, which owes much to him for its success. He died on February 4, 1898, aged seventy-eight. Sir Henry Ayers. This pioneer will long be remembered for valuable services rendered to the communi- ty, in which for many years he occupied an almost unique position. He was born at Portsea, England, in May, 1821, and he came to South Australia in 1840. When the Burra mine was discovered he was ap- pointed secretary to the South Australian Mining Association, a position which he occupied throughout the rest of his long life. In 1857 he was elected a member of the Legislative Council, and was subsequently seven times Premier of South Australia, and sat in several Ministries. For twelve years he was President of the Legislative Council. In 1870 he was made C.M.G., was knighted in 1872, and became G.C.M.G. in 1894. He retired from the Legislative Council in 1893. He was considered one of the safest and acutest financiers in South Australia, and for many years he was chair- man of the Savings Bank. As a represen- tative from South Australia he attended several intercolonial conferences. Of him "The Register" has said:— Sir Henry was peculiarly fitted to represent the people in the Senate Hall and in the Cabinet office; As an administrator he showed his ready grasp of detail. His culture and diplomatic training served him admirably in the discharge of the work connected with the occupancy of the highest posi- tions in the state. No one presided over the de- liberations of the Legislative Council with a higher conception of the requirements of the office. His rule was characterized by ability, gravity, im-
partialily, and courtesy. His demeanour, at the nost trying times, was always worthy of the best traditions of his high position. He was in every eay an able exponent of the Constitution, with whose history he was in the fullest sense familiar. If Sir Henry had done nothing else besides direct- ing the business of the People's Savings Bank he would have earned an unquestionable title to the enduring and grateful recollections of tens of thousands of thrifty families in South Australia. Sir Henry died on June 11, 1897, in his seventy-seventh year. Mr. Benjamin Herschel Babbage. Mr. Babbage was the son of the celebrat- ed inventor of the calculating machine which made the name of Babbage universal- ly known. When the Bullion Act was pass- ed, Mr. Babbage was appointed Govern- ment assayer. In the first Parliament under responsible government he was elect- ed for Encounter Bay. In 1856 he was Go- vernment Geologist, and led a party into the interior as far as Mount Hopeless in search of gold. During the trip he found s large creek which he named MacDonnell in honour of the Governor, and also a fresh- water lake, to which he gave the name of Blanchewater in honour of Lady MacDon- nell. In addition he led a party to tho- oughly examine Lake Torrens and the vi- inity. One discovery that he made was very painful—the dead body of W. Coul- thard—an early settler, who apparently had a passion for exploration. Near the body was found a tin canteen, on which (in the agony of death) several words had been scratched, amongst others these—"My tung is stiking to my mouth. . . Blind (?) although feeling exce——for want of water. My ey dazels. My tung burn. I can see no way. God help ——." What made the tra- gedy more painful was the fact, that not far from the dead body, unknown to the perishing man, was a waterhole with a good supply of water. Mr. Babbage died on October 22, 1878. Mr. F. E. H. W. Krichauff. In the course of our short history seve- ral thousands of German settlers have come to South Australia, and splendid colonists, as a rule, they have made. One of the most useful and highly respected of them is Mr. Krichauff, who was born in 1824, in the town of Schleswig. He was the son of a Judge in the Supreme Court in Schles- wig-Holstein, passed through all the classes of the college there, and apprenticed him- self for three years at the Botanical Gar- dens at the University of Kiel. He matri- culated in 1846 as a student of philosophy at the University of Berlin. Mr. Krichauff emigrated from the Fatherland, and came to South Australia in 1848, purchased land in the Bugle Ranges, and worked it as an agriculturist for many years. In 1857 he was elected at the top of the poll as a re- presentative of Mount Barker in the first Parliament. He did good service in assist- ing to pass the Real Property Act at a cri- tical time. He also advocated a Distilla- tion Bill, and a measure of his own in the interest of rifle clubs. He was a warm supporter of the principle of payment of members; and, not being able to spare so much time from his agricultural pursuits as was necessary for legislative work, he had to resign his seat. An evidence of the self- sacrifice our fathers made in the interests of the Commonwealth is given in the fact that Mr. Krichauff walked to Adelaide, a distance of about 23 miles, each Monday to attend the sessions of the House, and walk- ed home again on the Friday. Sir R. Tor- rens urged Mr. Krichauff to become one of the first licensed brokers under the Real Property Act, chiefly to enable German settlers to bring their land under that sta- tute. To this he consented. In 1870 he was electcd for the District of Onkaparinga, and later as Commissioner of Public Works, had the honour of placing the last stone on the General Post Office tower. For twelve years he represented Onkaparinga, and then resigned his seat to travel through Europe. In 1884 he was returned for the District of Victoria, and in 1887 still had the confidence of the electors for another term of three years. From 1890 for five sessions he sat in the Legislative Council, and in 1895 left the political arena. As a legislator his chief aim has been to sup- port liberal land legislation, and to encour- age the planting of forest trees. In 1875 he carried a Bill to make provision for the appointment of a forest board. He was a member of the State Bank Royal Commis- sion, and was also elected permanent chair- man of the Central Agricultural Bureau. Mr. John Dunn. The life of John Dunn is a lesson in the virtues of patience and perseverance. From a very lowly position—by virtue of hard work—he rose to one of honour and af- fluence. He was born in Devonshire, in February, 1802. His parents were poor, and he received little education. When ten years of age he had to go to work for 6d. a week. After seven years' apprenticeship he became manager of a flourmill at Bide- ford, Devon. His wages now were 15s. weekly. About four years after founding of South Australia he decided to emigrate to Adelaide. He arrived in 1840, and took up land at Hay Valley. His was a heroic and determined spirit. He walked from Hay Valley to the primitive settlement on the banks of the Torrens, carrying his dairy produce. Having sold this and made his purchases, he would tramp home again. Gradually his position improved. He erect- ed at Hay Valley a flourmill worked by the wind. This motive power, however, was too slow and uncertain, so he ordered a small steam engine from England, and thus laid the foundation of his fortune. Still be- fore prosperity came he had to endure many hardships. Such men as he could not ob- serve any "eight hours' system." He worked from daylight to dark, and after dark continued his labours aided by the light of a bit of wood stuck in a lamp of grease. He was the first to grind corn in the new settlement by a systematic and scientific process, and he built up perhaps the largest milling business in the southern hemisphere. Mr. Dunn and Mr. Krichauff were elected to represent Mount Barker the first Parliament in 1857. For many years, up to 1878, he had a seat in Parlia- ment. He helped to pass the Real Proper- ty Act, and worked hard to secure the reading of the Bible in the state schools. Speaking of him "The Register" said — "How well the old patriarch served his gene- ration the annals of the colony abundantly testify." In the truest sense of the word his was "an exemplary career." His bene- factions were numerous, particularly in the locality of his residence, Mount Barker, where he built a number of cottages for the poor, and erected a Methodist Church at a cost of £4,000. He died on October 13, 1894, in his 93rd year.