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Oral History Interview with Harold Gallasch


Harold Gallasch was born on 21 May 1943 in Adelaide and grew up in Glen Osmond.
His mother was Ida Martha Menzel. She was born in Hahndorf on 21 September 1914. Harold’s father Ernest Leonard Gallasch was born 26 February 1905 in Grunthal. The married couple moved to Glen Osmond.

Harold’s great great grandparents Johann Joseph and Veronika, together with children came to South Australia on The Zebra. Joseph became a farmer and first settled in Hahndorf, later in Grunthal. He became naturalised in 1841.

The interview with Harold is about his childhood memories of daily life in Hahndorf. He often visited his grandparents in Hahndorf. Another topic is the development of the tourism market in Hahndorf. Returning from Papa New Guinea in the early 1970s, Harold started a tourist business in Hahndorf and helped to establish the Hahndorf Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. In addition, he speaks about saving the Hahndorf Academy from being demolished and about its change of ownership in the 1980s. Being involved in community life he also speaks about the Hahndorf Liedertafel and other traditions in the town.

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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