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NTSA Hahndorf/Personalities


NTSA Hahndorf Branch - Major Contributors and Personalities

  1. NTSA Hahndorf Branch - Major Contributors and Personalities
    1. John STOREY (1915-2001)
    2. Walter WOTZKE O.A.M., F.R.S.A.S.A. (1917-1996)
    3. Anni Luur FOX
    4. Lyndell DAVIDGE
    5. Reg BUTLER, B.A. DipT(Sec)

The following foundation members of the Branch (past and present) have contributed to a major extent over a considerable period of years towards retaining Hahndorf's heritage.

These brief profiles are in recognition of their input and reflect the dedication, time and effort they have given under, at times, most difficult and stressfull conditions.

John STOREY (1915-2001)

John Clement Storey was a long time identity of the town of Hahndorf. He was born in Adelaide and spent his early years in South Australia. He was proud of his association with Hahndorf, being a great grandson of Captain John Finnis (one of the three partners who originally owned the land on which Hahndorf was established).


Later, he moved to Sydney, New South Wales with his father before returning to South Australia in his mid-teens to live in the Riverland. At various stages in his life, John was a printer, cyclist, an itinerant fruit picker during the Depression, and a small business operator in Sydney before World War II. After discharge from the Australian Army, holding the rank of Lieutenant, he worked for the British Merchant Navy as a stores manager. Subsequently, he was secretary-manager of Roselands Bowling Club in Sydney for a number of years.

In the early 1960's, John Storey started the 'Storison' series of businesses in partnership with his wife Catherine and her sister Clare. This included a private hotel in Sydney, and after arriving in Hahndorf in 1971, The Storison Gallery, The Soap Shop, The Doll Workshop business and Cottage Accommodation.

John was passionate about Hahndorf's history and campaigned for almost 30 years to preserve the town heritage and promote appropriate tourism. He was the inaugral chairman of the Hahndorf Branch of the National Trust of S.A. and formed the town Tourist Association in 1973. Without his exceptional leadership and consistent voluntary work, the village would have lost much of its historical streetscape. Apart from his forays to represent the Hahndorf National Trust Branch at the Planning Appeals Tribunal when dialogue with developers, politicians and municipal authorities failed, John was instrumental in raising public consciousness regarding the value of tangible history to state and nation. He led the team that discovered and first marked the Hahndorf Pioneer Women's Trail in 1979 and helped to organise the Nixon's Windmill stabilisation project. There are a considerable number of other projects he either initiated or in which he was involved that have enhanced or preserved the locality.

In the July, just prior to his death, he received the '2001 Tourism SA Volunteer of the Year' award from the South Australian State Government. After John died of cancer on 2 September 2001, aged 85 years, Mt. Barker District Council named a road in Hahndorf in his honour.
In May 2003, a plaque was installed on a bench seat in the Main Street of Hahndorf which reads :-

JOHN STOREY 17.12.1915 - 2.9.2001
Great Grandson of Captain John Finnis
This seat is dedicated in recognition of
the outstanding contribution John made to
Hahndorf heritage, business and community
Hahndorf Branch National Trust
Hahndorf Community Association Inc.

John Storey was a man of utmost integrity with strong family ideals. He maintained a keen interest in early South Australian history, particularly the exploits of the early Australian pioneers.

Walter WOTZKE O.A.M., F.R.S.A.S.A. (1917-1996)

Walter Wotzke's grandfather, Friedrich Wilhelm Wotzke, a dryer came to Australia in 1867 and spent many years as a missionary among the Dieri Aborigines on Cooper's Creek. Walter's father was a school teacher and organist at St. Michael's Church in Hahndorf. The Wotzke homestead at 90 Main Street has been in the family since 1880.

Walter Wotzke was the founder of the first successful country Art Gallery in South Australia.
Walter was one of those rare people who are passionate enough about an issue such as heritage conservation, to actively do something about it. In trying to save the Hahndorf Academy from demolition to make way for a petrol station, he was ahead of his time. In its single-minded pursuit of "progress" during the 1960's, Mt Barker District Council employed a building inspector particularly enthusiastic about condemning any structure showing signs of a long life. Hahndorf was full of 19th Century buildings. Walter's harrowing six year campaign to save the Academy for use as a cultural institution started in 1960. The building had deteriorated considerably by the time he bought it in 1966 in a desperate measure to prevent imminent demolition of this cultural icon. Three years earlier he had saved Hahndorf's avenue of street trees from removal by Council.

He thus started the urban conservation movement and in 1976 influenced the establishment of the Hahndorf National Trust Branch to lobby for planning controls after the South Eastern Freeway had reached village accompanied by commerce eager to capitalise on the site. By that time, Walter had persuaded Anni Luur Fox to research and write a short history of the village. During this four year process evidence pointed to Hahndorf being the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia, a fact later confirmed by Gordon Young's Hahndorf Survey team 1979-1981. This ultimately led to Hahndorf's listing by the National Estate and its declaration as a State Heritage Area in 1988.

1926 - Aged nine, Walter began art lessons with Gwen Barringer which led to contining art education at the S.A. School of Arts. Studied at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.
1952 - Won the Associates Prize for Still Life at the Royal Society of Arts and mounted his first solo show at the Curzon Gallery, Adelaide.
1956 - Walter opened his first gallery in Hahndorf. Won RSASA Assoc. Prize for Landscape.
1957 - Walter organised travelling exhibitions to many country regions.
1960 - For Adelaide's first Festival of Arts, he organised a major Hans Heysen Exhibition at the old Lutheran School of 1971 which became his new gallery. He introduced the "Robin Hood" art exhibitions to raise funds for handicapped and institutionalised people. He initiated the formation of the Hahndorf Academy Museum Trust Inc to save the building from demolition. He supervised the galleries at The Wentworth, Hoopers Store and Miller Andersons in Adelaide.
1967 - The Hahndorf Academy Art Galleries and German Folk Museum opened.
1974 - Queen Elizabeth was represented by H.R.H the Duke of Edinburgh at a visit to the Academy when she had to return to England for the election.
1976 - Establishment of the Hahndorf Branch of the National Trust of South Australia at the Hahndorf Academy.
1978 - A Fellow of the RSASA, Walter is awarded the Order of Australia (O.A.M.) for services to the arts and community.
1981 - After years of promoting fellow artists, Walter's first solo show at the Hahndorf Academy.
1984 - Second solo show at the Academy during the 13th Festival of Arts.
1985 - First solo show at "The Mall Galleries" in London.
1989 - Represented in Himeji, Japan during Adelaide Week in October.
1992 - Solo show at the RSASA Galleries, Adelaide.

Anni Luur Fox (2004)

Anni Luur FOX

Born in Estonia, Anni's early years were spent as a refugee in Europe's Displaced Persons camps. She emigrated to South Australia with her parents and later married into a family whose ancestors had been amongst the fifty-four founding families of Hahndorf.


Anni's first art exhibition at the Hahndorf Gallery coincided with Walter Wotzke's campaign to save the Hahndorf Academy from demolition and the avenue of trees from removal. She became the honorary secretary of the newly formed Hahndorf Branch of the National Trust South Australia in 1976 and played a role in the group's success in lobbying for heritage legislation and planning controls that favoured conservation.

After three years research, she published "Hahndorf: A Brief Look at the Town and its History" in 1977. It was a first tentative step towards understanding this ancient place threatened with annihilation when the South Eastern Freeway shortened the trip to and from Adelaide in 1972. Anni subsequently worked on several documentaries on Hahndorf including the ABC-TV Peach's Australia and Deutsche Welle films seen around the world. She curated the historical exhibition marking Hahndorf's 150th Anniversary in 1989, and six years later was project manager and designer for the German Arms Hotel mural set in 1913.

A graduate of the South Australian School of Arts, Anni also holds post-graduate qualifications in education and has worked as a graphic and theatre designer for a number of well-known companies. In 1986-87, she assisted Elizabeth Dalman and Andrew McNicol establish Dance Excentrix Inc to foster a creative arts culture in the Adelaide Hills. She became a founding member of Artvan Inc in 1995 aiming to help isolated and disadvantaged people have access to "hands on" arts experiences. Committed to community cultural development, Anni was appointed to the South Australian Country Arts Trust Board, Central Region from 1993-2000 by the South Australian Minister for the Arts.

Extract from back cover - "HAHNDORF, A Journey Through the Village and its History" by Anni Luur Fox



Lyndell has been active in the Hahndorf Branch of the NTSA since 1975. She was Coordinator of the Centenary of Hahndorf Main Street Trees celebration in 1985, and has been involved in the marking and promotion of the Hahndorf Pioneer Womens' Trail.
She is currently on the Board of the Hahndorf Academy Foundation and has been Chairperson since April 2003.
Lyndell is a teacher and is passionate about arts and heritage.

Reg BUTLER, B.A. DipT(Sec)

(picture required)

Born 12 February 1941, Stirling West, South Australia, son of Oliver Charles and Ruby Olga (Nitschke) Butler.
Religion: Anglican
Education: Renmark High School (1954-57); Adelaide Boys High School (1958); Adelaide University and Adelaide Teachers College (1959-62); B.Arts (1963).
Home: Hahndorf, South Australia 5245.

Nuriootpa High School (teacher 1963-75);
Senior in Reading 1980, Plympton High School.
Appointed Hahndorf Education Officer 1991-1993.

National Trust of South Australia, Hahndorf Branch
South Australian Genealogical and Heraldry Society
Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies
South Australian Pioneers' Association
South Australian Reading Association

Alexander Henderson Award
Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies for writing "C.F. Seidel-from Schloin to Schoenthal" in 1977
2004 Australian Lions Foundation James D. Richardson Award for community service (Hahndorf Lions Club)

1971 - F.W. Nitschke Family History>
1977 - C.F. Seidel Family History
1979 - Lean Times and Lively Days: Centenary history of Hahndorf Primary School
1981 - A Short history of St Paul's Anglican church, Hahndorf.
1982 - George Hartmann of the Prince George
1986 - Cork Elms and Controversy at Hahndorf; Pupils, Punters and Polo Ponies at Plympton
1989 - A College in the Wattles: a History of the Hahndorf Academy
1993 - The Quiet Waters By: the Mount Pleasant District.
1992 - From Byways to Highways: Hahndorf's Changing Streetscape; The Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley Cultural and Educational Resources.

Migration of Germans to South Australia.
Research: Genealogy, Land Titles, Shipping Lists

Excerpt from "Who's Who in Genealogy & Heraldry", page 42, with additional material by Anni Luur Fox.(Nov 2004)

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