Eudunda runs successful Colin Thiele 100th event

On the on 15 November 2020 Eudunda celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Unveiling of the Colin Thiele Sculpture and Colin Thiele’s 100th Birthday.

A midday start for the free BBQ had a very hot and extremely windy start, luckily the Eudunda Centenary Gardens affords good protection. This year, even though COVID-19 restrictions were much eased, many things were done differently, to keep everyone COVID-Safe.

To start the official part of the event off Councilor Debbie Hibbert gave a “Welcome to Country”.

Colin Thiele 100th Debbie & Margaret - Photo by Robyn Bradbrook
Colin Thiele 100th Debbie & Margaret – Photo by Robyn Bradbrook

Organiser of the event and MC for the day, Margaret Doecke welcomed 130 guests, including the Hon. Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP and his wife Rebecca and Janne & Jeff Minge from Queensland (Janne is Colin Thiele’s daughter). We were very lucky to have had Janne & Jeff attend, as once again, covid restrictions between the states had only just lifted.

The history of the sculpture, from an idea to eventual unveiling 25 years ago on Sunday 5th November 1995 was very interesting, and Margaret was happy to see that many who were involved so long ago were able to make it to celebrate again. The Committee at the time gave sculptor Chris Radford a donation of $600 for his work. Margaret also mentioned the work of the late Myles Schutz who did the stone work that Colin’s sculpture is mounted on.

Eudunda 150th - Luke & Samuel (Insert) Photo Robyn Bradbrook
Eudunda 150th – Luke & Samuel (Insert) Photo Robyn Bradbrook

Samuel Doering, Chairperson of the Eudunda 150th Committee addressed us via Skype from Celle, Germany. To do this Luke Herriman contacted Samuel on Skype with his mobile phone, and he is seen here holding the phone covered by his hat to keep the wind out of the conversation, it worked quite well and everyone could hear Samuel.

Samuel welcomed those attending and inspiring us with part of Colin’s Sun on the Stubble story about Marcus and Bruno with the car and he also read a poem and told of how he introduced Colin’s works to his University English Lecturer, who was impressed with Colin’s work.

Colin Thiele 100th Janne Minge - Photo by Robyn Bradbrook
Colin Thiele 100th Janne Minge – Photo by Robyn Bradbrook

Janne Minge gave us an interesting talk about her father Colin, of his growing up in the district from early school life in Eudunda, to riding his pushbike to the train at Hampden to study at Kapunda, and return late at night and eventually off to University and his war service.

Colin Thiele 100th Mike Roberts - Photo by Robyn Bradbrook
Colin Thiele 100th Mike Roberts – Photo by Robyn Bradbrook

Local singer song writer Mike Roberts of The Barn at Wombat Flat sang three songs including “Farmer’s Gamble”. A highlight was ‘Hidden Springs’ first written and performed locally 35 years ago for the ‘Eudunda Show’ and Mike encouraged everyone to sing along to this song, with the words in the event programme.

Colin Thiele 100th - Marcus Reseigh - Photo by Robyn Bradbrook
Colin Thiele 100th – Marcus Reseigh – Photo by Robyn Bradbrook

Marcus Reseigh, local poet recited 3 poems from Colin’s book ‘Songs for my thongs’ published in 1982, and they were Magpie, Wrong Bait, Return Ticket, the last two were very funny.

Colin Thiele 100th -  Di Bills - Photo by Robyn Bradbrook
Colin Thiele 100th – Di Bills – Photo by Robyn Bradbrook

Di Bills read a prose poem about Bruno having to go to Adelaide to High School, when really Bruno wants to stay on the farm, an emotional story indeed.

Colin Thiele 100th -  Jackson Court - Photo by Robyn Bradbrook
Colin Thiele 100th – Jackson Court – Photo by Robyn Bradbrook

Eudunda Area School student Jackson Court read Colin’s book ‘Gemma’s Christmas Eve’, published in 1994,

Colin Thiele 100th - Claire Schiller - Photo by Robyn Bradbrook
Colin Thiele 100th – Claire Schiller – Photo by Robyn Bradbrook

Followed by fellow Eudunda Area School student Claire Schiller reading Colin’s book ‘February Dragon’ published in 1965.

Colin Thiele 100th - Charlie Ross - reading Farmer Schulzs Ducks - photo Peter Herriman
Colin Thiele 100th – Charlie Ross – reading Farmer Schulzs Ducks – photo Peter Herriman

The St Johns Lutheran School house captains were next to contribute to the event with Charlie Ross reading Colin’s book ‘Farmer Schultz’s Ducks’, which was published in 1986.

Colin Thiele 100th - Lucy Mosey reading Storm Boy - photo Peter Herriman
Colin Thiele 100th – Lucy Mosey reading Storm Boy – photo Peter Herriman

and Lucy Mosey reading ‘Storm Boy’, originally published in 1964.

Colin Thiele 100th - St Johns Lutheran School Choir 10 - Photo Peter Herriman
Colin Thiele 100th – St Johns Lutheran School Choir 10 – Photo Peter Herriman

The twenty girls making up the St John’s Lutheran School Choir did a great job battling the increasing wind to sing four songs under the guidance of Choir Teacher Mandy Verco. The songs were, ‘The Only Name (Yours Will Be)’, ‘When I grow up’, from musical Matilda, ‘Write your Story’, and the most fitting song of the day was the last one of ‘Beautiful Day’. Bravo Girls!! Well Done!. By this time the wind was so strong, it was hard to hear the girls singing, so we are thankful for the borrowed video camera from the Council as this allowed us to capture some reasonable sound to be shared later on.

Colin Thiele 100th - St Johns Lutheran School Choir - Supplied
Colin Thiele 100th – St Johns Lutheran School Choir – Supplied
Front L-R: Brooke Schaefer, Emma Doering, Grace Jenke, Annabelle Preston, Bridget Williams, Charlotte Nietschke, Caitlin Schutz and Kayley Schutz.
Middle L-R: Mandy Verco – Choir Teacher, Julie IÁnson, Marissa Ross, India Cluse, Zoe Neal, Demi Mosey, Milly Roebuck, Lucy Mosey.
Back L-R: Jaz Williams, Amalie Jenke, Lilly Verco, Ruby Preston, Shayla Scholz.

Debbie Hibbert gave an update on the Silo Art Project and an invitation to look at the proposals to decide which artist and works will work on our local silos next year.

The final celebration of the afternoon was to have delicious country baked scones, jam and cream, a great tradition.

Janne & Jeff Minge with the Colin Thiele Sculpture on Colins 100th Birthday Anniversary - Photo by Peter Herriman
Janne & Jeff Minge with the Colin Thiele Sculpture on Colin’s 100th Birthday Anniversary – Photo by Peter Herriman

We thank Margaret Doecke, Dot Bonner, Di Whatling, Barb Button, Janne Minge, Samuel Doering, Mike Roberts, Di Bills, Marcus Reseigh, Jackson Court, Claire Schiller, Charlie Ross, Lucy Mosey, Mandy Verco and the St Johns Lutheran School Choir, Debbie Hibbert, Andrew Partington, Robyn Bradbrook. Also the many people helping setup for the event, and with cooking and serving food and drinks. The wonderful Eudunda Gardens Committee who do such a great job of looking after the gardens, and for cleaning the BBQ afterward, and those who cleaned up and packed up afterwards, also Luke, Jenny & Toby Herriman.

We thank everyone that helped make this a great event. The Regional Council of Goyder, Australian Government – Drought Communities Programme, Eudunda Community, Business and Tourism Inc (ECBAT), and the Eudunda 150th Committee who helped fund the event so that it was free.

You can contact the Thiele Family via the website at www.colinthiele,com
Eudunda 150th via the website at www.eudunda150.com
Eudunda Community, Business & Tourism Committee (ECBAT) at the website www.ecbat.biz
Eudunda Family Heritage Gallery at the website www.eudundaheritage.com

Story by Peter Herriman

Note: A video was taken at the event and the sound was much better on the video. It will be available at a later date for those interested in having a copy.