The Pioneer Association’s contribution to History Month was a splendid affair and proved a worthy event to usher in the month-long, statewide programme of history related activities. Past PASA President Kingsley Ireland’s illustrated address on “Some early Jews of South Australia” gave insight in to the lives of both the Levi and Phillipson families who arrived in South Australia during the first few years of the Colony.
Nearly 100 people including PASA members and their guests, members of the two Hebrew congregations in Adelaide, and many history ‘buffs’ attracted by the About Time programme, gathered in the Drill Hall at the Torrens Parade ground for the event on Thursday 1 May. A delicious buffet lunch , which included some Jewish style food, preceded the presentation.
Kingsley took us on a journey through mid 19th century South Australia where we met the interconnected Levi-Phillipson families who were some of the earliest residents of the Colony. We encountered successful merchants and entrepreneurs, bankrupts, high spirited young ladies and forbidden love which led to a duel, and we learnt about the establishment of some fine homes in Adelaide’s developing inner suburbs. The story of these early Jewish families was brought to life with the reading of a range of original resources and documents which included newspaper articles, obituaries, wills, and diaries, all of which were read by the descendents of the family. Kingsley’s presentation went well beyond the family tree and breathed new life into the stories of these two interconnected Jewish families.
A CD containing Kingsley’s power point presentation and the quotes from the family readers is available from the PASA Office.
Thanks to Pam Skurray and all those who helped her with the presentation of this event.
Report by Bob Stace