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On Monday 25 October, the Year 10 German class departed for an excursion to the oldest German settlement in South Australia, Hahndorf. We arrived at the Hackney Road car park ready and eager to learn about German history and culture, both past and present in South Australia. Arriving in Hahndorf, the students immediately spotted the first points of interest: the monument to Captain Dirk Hahn and the archway to honour the first settlers in Hahndorf at the Pioneer Memorial Gardens.

The next point of interest was the Pioneer Cemetery. The old headstones revealed much about the lives and hardships experienced by the original settlers and it was the students’ task to try and decipher some of the old head stones written in old German Gothic script.

We were lucky enough to have a historian guide us through the Hahndorf Academy, which was originally a boys’ boarding school with early sporting links to St Peter’s College. Our discovery tour through Hahndorf led us to the only remaining original German dwelling of that time and we tried to picture the lifestyle that people would have experienced.

A magnificent German feast awaited us at the Hahndorf Inn. The pork knuckle, sauerkraut, different types of sausages, pretzels and apple strudel were more than most boys could manage to eat and all left the hotel very satisfied!

The final leg of our excursion included a visit to Hans Heysen’s picturesque historic home and his famous painting studio called ‘The Cedars’. We were given a tour through the grounds receiving much information about Hans Heysen as well as hearing many stories about his famous family.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable excursion which gave the students plenty of information to further their research into the lives of the early German pioneers in South Australia.

Monica McCauley
Coordinator of German