Home' The Bunyip : January 11th 2017 Contents "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Wednesday, January 11, 2017 Page 31
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through the ﬁles of The Bunyip
150 YEARS AGO
WHERE'S THE ENGINE?... Within the past week two
extensive propertes in Gawler have narrowly escaped
destructon, partly through the danger having occurred at
tmes when abundant assistance was at hand, and where
water was present.
But suppose the destructve element had acquired strength
suﬃcient to set buckets at deﬁance whither would the
people of Gawler have gone in search of an engine?
100 YEARS AGO
UNDER PAYMENT OF WOMEN WORKERS... The popular
sentment that the wage rate for workers be raised high
enough to serve as a cure-all for all social and moral evils is
cheap enough to ﬁnd a welcome in all circles.
Novelists, clergymen, and politcians have enthusiastcally
adopted this view and perseveringly expounded it to armies
of impressionable people.
50 YEARS AGO
LAND OFFERED FOR SCENIC RIVER PARK... Gawler Town
Council is considering buying 98 acres of river land near the
south end of Murray street for a scenic reserve.
The land, which includes half a mile of the South Para River,
was oﬀered to the Government by Mr A. J. V. Riggs for
The price would be $32,000 or $30,000 depending on when
the land was taken over.
10 YEARS AGO
D-DAY FOR CHURCH HILL... The decision on whether to
approve a controversial Church Hill development proposal is
likely to come down to personal opinion.
A proposal by the Australian Parish of Gawler and Barossa
Village to build nine retrement units on land next to
St George’s Church in Cowan Street will be considered
by Gawler Council’s development assessment panel on
BOOST FOR FARMERS... The local area has experienced a
beter than expected grain harvest in South Australia’s third
best season on record.
Yields for the district are average, but this is a promising
result in view of pessimistc forecasts at the beginning of
The average yield according to various authorites, has
allowed growers to meet their costs and given them
25 YEARS AGO
Descendants of famous Gawler identity Frederick May, Andrew May (left) and his son James, are still celebrating their ancestorʼs harvest machinery
success. INSET: May Bros & Co. was a powerhouse of engineering just over a decade ago, with its machines still on display at the Roseworthy campusʼ
PHOTOS: Alec Urquhart
James May (right) is pleased to have the
opportunity to learn of his familyʼs history,
thanks to the research of his dad Andrew, who
released a book about John Frederick May last
PHOTO: Alec Urquhart
DESCENDANTS of historic Gawler
identity and well-known businessman
Frederick May have spoken out about their
ancestor's century-old farm machinery
designs, which have led the future of
Great-great-grandson of John Frederick
May and proud family historian Andrew
May said his ancestor trialled his newly
engineered 'Acme Harvester' on January
5, 1917, on the Roediger farm at Gawler
"The May Brothers started in 1885 in
Gawler and the Acme Harvester was an
additional machine that they developed later
down the track," he said.
At the time of trial, the harvester was
considered futuristic, having a 10-feet,
six inch cut and fewer horses required for
Mr May said, since those early harvesters,
technology has continued to develop and
nowadays proves to be very impressive,
changing the way farming is undertaken.
"It is amazing; I mean, we used to have a
horse and cart and this machinery, the old,
old harvesters, would weigh a couple of
tonnes and you would need your horse out in
the paddock as well," he said.
"Now (harvesters) are $1 million worth
of machinery and they (the farmers) can
program their machinery to the paddock and
they don't even have to control it."
Prior to developing the Acme, the May
Brothers also produced the Model 115 May
Harvester in 1906, another outstandingly
"Frederick May moved to Gawler in 1874
and took up harvesting with James Martin,
of James Martin Foundry, and within that
he built his own and that had an adjustable
comb," he said.
Mr May said his ancestor has left an
impressive legacy, not only with his
well-engineered machines, but also with
his success in the global market.
The family historian said, over his
lifetime, he has been interested in his
ancestor and his success, which has led him
to writing a book on his life.
"The last bit of the May Foundry I actually
ran around in as a kid, because my
grandparents still lived in Gawler," he said.
"So I have always loved Gawler and have
been fascinated about what Frederick May
Mr May's book, the Mechanical Genius, is
available to borrow at the Gawler Library
and for purchase at the Gawler Bookshop.
For more information on John Frederick
May visit mechanicalgenius.wix.com/home
Harvesting the future
GAWLER resident Senior Sergeant First
Class Martin Kennedy will be the guest
speaker at Gawler History Team's next
meeting on Thursday, February 2.
Senior Sergeant Kennedy will speak on
the history of policing in Gawler and
surrounding districts, including various
police stations and courthouses, the slow
growth in police numbers and some
interesting stories along the way.
With over 42 years of experience with
SAPOL and two six-year stints policing
in Gawler, Senior Sergeant Kennedy has
a passion for police history and has been a
member of the SA Police Historical Society
for 20 years.
The public is invited to attend the address at
Zion Lutheran Hall at 7.15pm on Thursday,
To secure your place, email Brian Thom
at firstname.lastname@example.org or call
0412 015 990 .
Police history talk
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