Sunday History Photo / SA

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 11:05
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George McEwin born 29 January 1815 was a gardener and orchardist in the early days of South Australia remembered today as the founder of Glen Ewin jams and preserves.
McEwin was born in Scotland, and worked in the gardens of the Duke of Buccleugh at Drumlanrig Castle in Scotland, then in the Liverpool nurseries of M. Skirving. He married Jessie Kennedy (12 July 1810 – 21 September 1884) in Liverpool in 1839.

They emigrated to South Australia from Liverpool on the Delhi captained by Samuel Herbert, arriving in Port Adelaide on 20 December 1839. He worked as head gardener for George Stevenson, and planted what may have been South Australia's first vines at North Adelaide in 1837. Stevenson was private secretary to Governor Hindmarsh, arriving on HMS Buffalo at Holdfast Bay on 28 December 1836.

He visited Sydney and collected a large number of fruit trees and vines, which he planted on Stevenson's extensive property between Melbourne and Finniss streets, and which thrived under his care. He planted a small plot with wheat; arguably the first in South Australia, though Charles George Everard and Donald McLean are at least as plausible.
In 1843 he purchased land near Houghton which he named "Glen Ewin", where he planted extensive orchards and settled in 1844. He worked for George A. Anstey (1815–1895, for whom Ansteys Hill is named) establishing the garden and orchards of his Highercombe Estate, now part of Tea Tree Gully. From 1850 he and apple grower William Dunn worked for Anstey setting up the orchard and gardens for his nearby Paracombe Estate.
Around 1863 founded a jam factory, which he operated with his son Robert McEwin, to make use of excess fruit.



At the height of their business they employed over 100 people and purchased much of the fruit in the region. Besides the Glen Ewin brand, their jam was also marketed as Kingurli, Viking, Anchor, Arab and Far West. In December 1962 Sir Thomas Playford unveiled a plaque commemorating 100 years of jam making at Glen Ewin. The business failed in the late 1980s; the factory closed in 1988, and the property deteriorated considerably. The Glen Ewin name was revived in the 1990s for a range of jams made by Henry Jones IXL, which was bought by SPC Ardmona in 2004 but none of these products was made at Houghton.
He was for many years connected with the Agricultural and Horticultural Society, and its President in 1862. He regularly attended the Houghton Congregational Church and was for twenty eight years a personal friend of its pastor, the Rev. W. J. Webster.


He was appointed a Justice of the Peace, He acted as Returning Officer for the district of Gumeracha, He was a member of the Central Road Board, And he was a member of the Forest Board, In 1843 he published by subscription the South Australian Vigneron and Gardeners' Manual which passed through several editions. He contributed a monthly "Farmers', Gardener and Vignerons' Calendar" for the Advertiser. He frequently commented in the press on the culture of various trees and plants and other subjects. In 1881 he took a journey up the River Murray and wrote a report of his trip for the South Australian Register. In 1884 he visited Port Lincoln and wrote an article for the Register. For some years he was in poor health, and prior to his death he was confined to his room for two months, suffering from a heart condition, but his death on 8 August 1885 was somewhat sudden and unexpected.
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Reply By: Member - Peter (1) - Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 13:32

Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 13:32
G'day Doug,

Gee, you are bringing back memories now. I remember being brought up on Glen Ewin jams and sauces way back when I was a young tacker, running around Tarcoola and Cook in the '40s, barefooted and just in a pair of shorts. If I was good, Mum would treat me with a slab of homemade bread, spread thickly with Glen Ewin Apricot jam and a thick slab of cheese, yum, yum. I especially remember the Apricot jam, it was the best you could get in my opinion, it had lumps of real apricot in it.

Thanks for the memories Doug and keep up the good work.

Peter Bailey.
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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 15:05

Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 15:05
G'day Peter, yep I too was bought up on the Jam, I was born in Adelaide, gee that seems so far away now in time, but yes the Apricot Jam was also my favorite, on Toast eh..yummy . the Fig Jam was good too. damn it I also miss the Chapmans Fritz,
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Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 15:36

Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 15:36
Yep, Chapmans fritz and Rosella tomato sauce sandwiches, or Glen Ewin apricot jam and chedder, followed by a Golden North icecream.
Any mug can be uncomfortable out bush

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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 16:37

Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 16:37
Yep. Also born in Adelaide.
Fig and apricot are still my favourite jams, but I am almost always disappointed now. :(

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter (1) - Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 17:28

Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 17:28
That's what I forgot, the fig jam, it was as good as the apricot. As you mentioned Doug, Chapmans fritz, thick slices on home made bread and covered in Rosella tomato sauce, yummy!!!!

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 17:59

Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 17:59
Talk of tomato sauce reminds of a brand of sauces from SA we used to get at Rockhampton Downs NT during the mid 60's. There were a number of tomato sauces flavours but at the moment don't recall the maker of same.

Any thoughts from you Croweaters?

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Bob
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Follow Up By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Monday, Aug 01, 2016 at 14:03

Monday, Aug 01, 2016 at 14:03
OK I'll bite,
whats Chapmans fritz ?
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Aug 01, 2016 at 14:37

Monday, Aug 01, 2016 at 14:37
Fritz sausage?

Bob

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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Monday, Aug 01, 2016 at 15:58

Monday, Aug 01, 2016 at 15:58
Chapmans are a Smallgoods Manufacturer in SA , have been for as long as I can remember and had Fritz , Fritz is like as in Eastern States is Devon, but Fritz is way better, the only places outside of SA to buy it is in Birdsville at the Shell R/H and in Supermarkets in NT , WA also has fritz made by another company , I bought it when I was in Perth for 12 months, I think the company was Western .....??? it might have been Westphalia, its been 9 years since I left WA.
It is referred to as “Polony” in Western Australia, “Luncheon” in Queensland and northern areas of New Zealand, “Fritz” in South Australia and far western areas of New South Wales, “Belgium” and “Devon” in Victoria and East New South Wales[citation needed]. Devon would be classed as “Luncheon Meat” in the UK. It is similar in appearance and taste to boloney.

Fritz is good when camping, it keeps long in the fridge and to stop for a cupper and Fritz and sauce sanga is mouth watering
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, Aug 01, 2016 at 18:26

Monday, Aug 01, 2016 at 18:26
Doug - are you thinking of Watsonia as the manufacturers?



Have a look at the packaging - I wonder if the companies are connected?

When we went around Australia, people in shops would look at us strangely as we asked for "Polony". In the end we got used to asking for "Fritz". I don't know that their is much difference in the taste, at least I didn't really notice any.

Agree about the "meat(?)" and sauce sandwiches. Even better on super fresh white bread and real butter. But for god sake don't tell the wife or my arteries...

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Anthony
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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Monday, Aug 01, 2016 at 18:51

Monday, Aug 01, 2016 at 18:51
Anthony, thanks, yes that's the name, I know they did have a Fritz but I remember the fritz disappeared and all I could fine was Palony ...sounds like a lot of Balony but it was Palony ........

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 13:32

Sunday, Jul 31, 2016 at 13:32
http://glenewinestate.com.au/home/about-us/our-history/
Bill and Wendy Wauchope are the current owners of the property.
Bill is a colourful character in his own right. He is an ex crop duster and his Tiger Moth aircraft was registration VH-DDT. There are pics of this aircraft with him at the controls semi inverted at very low levels over the city of Darwin as he manoeuvred to spray the city after cyclone Tracy.
He has an extensive collection of vehicles on the property, including several early Unimogs, and lots of new parts for them, still in crates.
I visited the property a few years ago when I was interested in the possibility of buying a Mog.

Cheers,
Peter
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