A Journey of Faith to a Valley of Praise
On the May 7th Lobethal will celebrate the 175th anniversary of the founding of its town. On May 4th 1842, Lutheran Pastor Daniel Fritzsche, together with eighteen pioneer families, gathered for a thanksgiving service under a tree believed to be near where the Post Office now stands. Pastor Fritzsche read from 2nd Chronicles 20: 26, from Luther’s translation of the Bible, and from that text, named the new village lobe-thal, meaning ‘praise – valley’, thus the settlement became known as Lobethal.
This was the culmination of a long and arduous journey that began many years before from various German provinces of Prussia, now part of Poland. Lutherans were being persecuted in many ways because of their reluctance to adhere to the Kings proclamation to only worship in the state church. After many years of planning and negotiating, Government delays including waiting for Passports, they eventually set sail from Hamburg on 3rd of July 1841 on the Skjold. This journey was marred by delays, storms and illnesses, more than 50 of the 275 pioneers on board died during the difficult voyage. Four month later on October 28th 1841, they landed at Port Misery (near Pt Adelaide.) They initially lived with other German migrants at Klemzig and Hahndorf, villages previously settled by Pastor Kavel’s congregation in 1838, before taking up land in this valley in 1842 and establishing their own community – the foundation of the Lobethal we know today.
This brings us to the present time. The community of Lobethal is celebrating this anniversary with a number of community events. All of the community, past and present, is invited to participate in the celebrations being planned for this year, starting with an official opening ceremony and Thanksgiving Service on May 7th, 2017 at 10am at the Lobethal Lutheran Church for all to celebrate.
The day is as follows:
- 10am – Official “open air” launch of the Lobethal 175th Anniversary year opened by the German Ambassador, Dr Anna Prinz, and unveiling of the Pioneer Family Monument
- 10:20am – Guests and visitors will be invited to ‘take a journey’ through the old chapel and into the main Lutheran Church for a Thanksgiving Service. The service is historically focused and seeks to remember the faith, hope and sacrifice of the settlers who travelled from Prussia to the Adelaide Hills to establish Lobethal in 1842.
- Midday – The descendants of the pioneer families will lead a procession from the church to the Lobethal Centenary Hall for a community lunch, which is provided by the community, for all. This event is all about bringing the community together to share a meal. We want the lunch to be a reunion or ‘home-coming’ – encourage your relatives and friends to come along, travel back to Lobethal and reconnect with those from the past and meet the folk who call Lobethal home now!
- 1pm to 5 pm – Lobethal History Comes Alive! Displays, live history talks, museums and walking tours – The Lobethal Archive and Historical Museum will be the hub for a wide variety of history activities for everyone to participate in.
Many former Lobethal residents and distinguished guests have been invited to this celebration, and you are invited as well. Come and join the celebration of the founding of Lobethal.
Phone: 08 83896069 (Lobethal Lutheran Church office)
More information in the Grapevine as the year progresses.