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Oral History Interview with Grant and Carol Paech


Grant Paech was born on 5 December 1940 in Mount Barker. His father was Hermann Christian, born in Paechtown and he died in 1969. His mother was Leslie Alexandra Paech. The first Hahndorf generation of the Paechs – Johann Georg Paech with family – came on The Zebra to South Australia and developed Paechtown near Hahndorf, becoming naturalised in 1847.

Grant Paech married Carol (born in Adelaide 1944 of English descent) in 1966. They started the Beerenberg Farm in the early 1970s. In the interview Grant talks about childhood and teenage memories of life in Hahndorf. One focus of the interview is the dairy farm of Grant’s father. The other focus is the beginning and development of the Beerenberg strawberry farm. The Paechs also talk about changes in Hahndorf and their favourite places to go.

This oral history is part of a research project undertaken by Dr Birgit Heilmann in winter 2010. After Birgit completed her PhD in history at the University of Goettingen, Germany she has worked as a historical consultant in Adelaide since late 2008. She became a member of the PHA SA in 2009. Birgit now lives in Newcastle and was appointed as the curator of the Harry Daly Museum at the Australian Society of Anaesthetists in Sydney. The purpose of the Hahndorf project was to undertake and compile research and to produce a practical material collection for the Hahndorf Academy Project with its main focus on the redevelopment of the Academy museum’s display about Hahndorf and its German heritage. The project was funded by an History SA Community Museums Program grant and the District Council of Mount Barker. The written report includes information on relevant themes to tell stories about Hahndorf derived from primary and secondary sources. Three oral history interviews with Hahndorf residents were recorded and audio CDs produced. The audio material is available at the Hahndorf Academy and the State Library South Australia (SLSA, OH 947, 1–3).

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