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1 correction by doug.butler - Show corrections


Death- ol Mr. Thomas Hardy, Grand Old Man,

The death occurred on Wednesday, at the age of nearly 82 years, of Mr. Thomas Hardy, the well-known vifrneron, who had Kenerally been regarded as the father oi the wino industry in Soufli Australia, Mr. Hardy was one of tlotse grand old pioneers who enme to South Australia as a youns nwn, and by his unbounded energy, built up a business wliich is known in both hemi spheres and which has played an important part in winning for the Central State mich prominence as a producer of wine. A long, useful life his had been indeed.

—Early Diys.— Mr. Hardy was born in Devonshire in 1830, and arrived in South Australia 20 years later. To use his own words, 'I camp out in the ship the British. Empire, and cave consequently never left the Empire.' During the voyage he acted as instructor to the boys en board, and the late Mrs. J. Gillard was schoolmistress -to the girls. For this service he received £5 at the end of the voyage, . — Roughing It — 'A im days after landing in the State Mr, Hardy secured a position wjth the late Mr. John Reynell, the first winemaker in South Australia, and there had his initial experience at 'roughing it.' On reaching the vineyard he was told by ftlr. Reynell to occupy -with the shepherd hoy the watch house in the sheepyard. What an awful night he spent there! In the hut he was almost worried to' death by enterprising nocturnal insects, which seemed to tho roughly appreciate his newly imported blood, while outside the lambs dragged con tinually at the door. Next day Mr. Hardy compKiipcd to Mr. Reynell, and at his sug gestion made up a. bunk in the room of a small superseded house on the property.

Before many days had passed that com partment, altbouKh only about 8 ft. square, confined three other occupants, including two Germans and a Swede. The last named, though, sought fresh quarters after ono night. The principal workers in the vineyards were Germans, and right gooc men they were, too. They had brought their knowledge of viticulture with them from the Fatherland, and in that respect they had a distinct advantage over the great majority of the English hands. Mr. Hardy never failed to emphasize that South Australians were deeply indebted to the Ger mans in connection with the wine industry. -On tho Goldficlds- ? At the end of about 12 months Mr. Hardy, with hundreds of other residents, got the gold fever, and went to the dig gings, lln made his way back to Forei Creek, and after a while entered into partnership with a botcher. Mr, Hardy's work was to deliver the meat, and it was while at this that he came within the pale of the law for the first and the- only time in his long and honoured career. Everybody on tho field was sup nosed to carry a licence, but when he left home Mr. Hardy forgot bis. As luck would have it he was met by a trooper, and when asked to produce his licence could not com ply.' Forthwith lie was marched to the lockup— a email hut with walls of pine and a' tarpaulin covering— and there detained with about a dozen other similar offenders. In the afternoon all were presented before a justice of the peace, and fined amounts ranging from £1 to £1 10/. In relating the incident years after, Mr. Iiardy admit ted that, although at the time he was naturally much annoyed, he could not help laughing subsequently at the predicamftrt. —Beginning of Bankside.—

_ While' at Reynella Mr. Hardy obtaiuAl a' fair insight into viriegrowing. and ?winemaking,' as then conducted;- and when he returned to South Australia in 1853 he decided to engage in the industry on his own account. He began in a very modest way, but with unlimited pluck, de termination, and commonsensc. \ He pur chased 46 acres at Bankside, and set to work to build up the estate. At that time he looked forward more to mixed fruit than vinegrowinjr, as he felt certain from what he had 6een on both sides of the . River Torrens above Adelaide that his land was eminently suited for that purpose. As the Shiraz had proved itself to be a good, pro fitable grape he p]arited a large number of cuttings for wine production, and put in a fair proportion of muscatels with a view of rakin making. ? He also estab lished the nucleus of an orange grove, and planted olives, chiefly to 'form* a bonier and breakwind, but also with the intention to utilize the truit /-f the trees for oil. In this connection, however, he was sadly disappointed. Unfortunately, like other growers in those days, he did not look with sufficient care to the kinds of olives, and planted a large number of local seedlings, which, when they had developed, were dis covered to be non-bearing. There upon better kinds were imported, and P™ted on to the original trees. When Jlr. Hardy first became associated with the wine industry there was prac tically no machinery. The grapes were trodden by men and boys with their bare feet, nnd then placed in the lever press. In 1S39 he aluppcd his first produce, con sisting of two hogsheads of wine, to Eng land. This was one of the first shipments of wine for South Australia. Some of the vines at Bankside have been bearing con tinuously for 40 to 50 years, and are still in a good, healthy condition— convincing testimony to the suitableness of the soil and the climate. Mr. Hardv also planted extensive vineyards at McLaren Vale. He started the first wine bar in Adelaide, and it did much to break down the prejudice against colonial wine. In 1881 'Sir. Hardy obtained the handsome trophy, valued at £100. presented by Sir Edwin Smith, to the exhibitor who had done most to es tablish new industries suitable to the colony, — Southern Vineyards. —

Mr. Hardy first became a producer of wine in 1857, and not a year passed with out an increase of operations. In 1873 Mr. Hardy purchased the famous Tintam vine y?™. which was planted by the late Dr. Kelly. This property is about 25 miles from Adelaide, und is situated among the ironstone hills south of the Onkaparinga. Its produce has beeu well known in itog land for many years. After it came into lus possession, Mr. Hardy greatly improved and extended the area under cultivation. In 1870 he purchased one of the disused flourmilla at McLaren Vale, near Tintara, and converted it into a ivine manufaetorv. This proved a great boon to the surround ing district, for in addition to treating his

oivn grapes, Mr. Hardy was able to buy up and treat a great deal of the fruit grown in the district. In 1881 he erected the large warehouse. four stories high, in Curriestreet, as a distributing depot for his wines. The business of the firm spread in all direc tions, and in addition to his interstate trade, the firm has had agencies in England for many years. In 1883, accompanied by one of his sons, Mr. Hardy made a trin to Europe and America, and visited all the . great _ yrine-producinjr cen tres. He again visited the old country and South Africa during 1898. On both occasions he contributed valuable travel notes to The Register and its associated papers.' ' —Address of Welcome.— Of the esteem. in which he was held the following address, presented to him soon after Ins return on the latter oocasiou, bears testimony:— We,' the utulerfipned, on behalf of a large number of residents usd friends in the district of West Terrors, . in which you have resided over hfljf a century, extend to you a hearty welcome on your return from your visit to the old countp-. . We desire to express our appreciation of your indomitable energy and persevcrarax' in fur thering the interests of the district and the State in Kenoral, not iorffettinit Ihe kindly interest you have always evinced in tbo schools over wliicli you have presided as Chairman of the School Board for over 23 years. You may feel assured tliat you hare our bejt wishes for your continued prosperity, health, and happincs. Trusting you will yet tie spared many years of useful life. We desire you to accept the accompanying photo, as a slight token of our esteem for you. Ilie address \ma signed by Sir Edwin Smith, Messrs. T. H.Brooker. M.P., J. F. Mellor, C. B. Wans (then Mayor of Thebat ton), J. H. Burden, A. a. Lea, E. C. nmiinffway, !?:. P. Fisher, W. Bennett. 3. II. Aldridfre, It J. Uolbrook, CoL J.,Itowell, C.B., C. K. Morris (late 'Mayor of Fort Adelaide), J. D. Uolbrook. W. H. GoodcnouRh, 11. B.. Cumins (ex-Mayor of Theborton), and others. Mr. Hardy was one-of the oldest members of the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society.. The Winegrowers' Association, the Chamber of Manufactures, the Agricul tural Bureau, and the West Torres School Board of Advice, all had the advantage of bis services. He was twice married, but had been a widower for about 25 years. The only surviving son is Mr. R. B. Hardy, Sydney manager for the firm, who is at 5 resent in Adelaide. The late Messrs'. J. . and T. N. Hardy were associated with their father for many years in the busi ness, which, about 27 years ago, was formed into a limited liability company, comprising the father, sons, other member* of the family, and Mr. J. R. O9born. The only surviving daughter is Miss A. E. Hardy, of Bonkside. Another daughter, Mrs. W. Anstis, of Bailarat, died last year.