True to its roots

Beerenberg is a great example of a family company that has stayed true to its roots.

The company has remained staunchly loyal to the town that has watched it grow from a small roadside jam business to the internationally known brand it is today.

Beerenberg is a proud Hills company that not only provides local employment, but also gives back to the community through its heritage conservation charity arm, the Beerenberg Foundation.

Its commitment to the Hills again rung true when the company announced its plans to undertake the most significant expansion in its history while still remaining in Hahndorf.

It probably would have been much easier for Beerenberg’s owners, the Paech family, to leave the historic town and move somewhere where development approval is easier to achieve.

But after years of planning and with some dinner table discussions coming up, the family is on track to beginning construction on the new factory next year.

The expansion will allow the company to become more efficient in its production, freeing up time and space to experiment with new ideas and potentially grow its already successful export market.

History relived

We live in such a modern world today that it can be easy to forget where we come from and how much life has changed.

On Friday a group of Hills police officers will be taking part in a modest re-enactment that should remind us of one of the more remarkable chapters in SA history.

About 160 years ago this State was a fledging colony just trying to finds its economic feet – without the internet, telephones or an efficient interstate transport route.

Then gold was discovered in Victoria and thousands of able-bodied men left the State to seek their fortune.

Wives and children were left behind with no income, merchants were heavily in debt because of the lack of trade, the banks needed gold in their vaults to redeem notes and the colony was nearly bankrupt.

The Bullion Act was passed and the newly appointed Police Commissioner of the day, Alexander Tolmer, put forward a plan to have police escorts bring gold back to SA .

There were 18 escorts between 1852 and 1853, taking police through difficult terrain and under constant threat of attack from bushrangers.

The escorts came through the Hills and brought SA’s economy back from the edge of collapse.

That’s something worth celebrating with cake and a sausage sizzle at the old Mt Barker police station this Friday afternoon.