Who do you think you are?

1 Mission house

Did you ever watch the TV show “Who do you think you are?” It took famous people back into their family history, helping them discover who in their past has contributed to them being who and where they are today. Inspired by this, I’ve decided to do a little series, looking at some of the characteristics of GJ Rechner. Maybe you will discover that they’ve been passed down to you!

Are you a gardener? Are you happiest when you are digging, planting, watering or pruning? And, if the weather smiles on you – and you manage to outwit insects, possums, bats and birds – even harvesting your produce. Do you ever say to yourself “that’s it – no more plants”, and yet still find yourself in the garden section of Bunnings with a trolley full of greenery, and no idea how it got there? Don’t fight it – perhaps it is in your DNA, passed down through generations….

GJ Rechner was a very keen gardener. Not always successful – he did try his hand at farming soon after his arrival in Australia, with little success. But at Light Pass he established quite a little farm. His grandson, JJ Stolz, remembers visiting as a child, and enjoying the delights of his “fine orchard and lots of vines” where the children could “satisfy our hunger for fresh fruit to our heart’s content”.fruit resize e1655090370830

There were also vegetables, chickens and pigs. The grandchildren visiting from the city loved the freedom of the country, roaming around the manse garden and church grounds at Light Pass, chasing chickens and climbing trees to pick the fruit. One can just imagine them, sitting on the branches of a tree laden with ripe apricots or peaches, juice dripping down their chins.

No doubt the produce from the garden went a long way to help feed the large Rechner family and their many visitors. And when visiting Adelaide by train, Pastor Rechner would always take a basket full of freshly-picked garden produce for the city dwellers – and sometimes added in a freshly-killed goose for the pot as well.