Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Days of my Youth – recollections of Maryborough after World War Two

The Erbacher's were business people in Maryborough. John Erbacher, born in 1941, was the first of two children to Albert and Sylvia Erbacher. He and Sue Erbacher conducted the April local history talk based on their book Days of my Youth.
168 Sussex Street, Maryborough, Qld.

John states “Dad was a baker and a pastry cook who  owned a shop in Adelaide Street, while at the same time operating a plant nursery from our Maryborough home of 168 Sussex Street.”
Albert Erbacher’s shop in Adelaide Street, Maryborough, Qld.
John has an amazing memory. He recalls “preserved eggs in waterglass in two 1000 gallon tanks in the backyard” used in the bakery for making cakes and biscuits. Fresh eggs were in short supply during the war and he can remember “ration tickets used for buying butter”. He also reminisces about  “a large ice chest measuring seven by five feet by four and half feet deep used for storing butter” and “two very large wood fired ovens 24 by 25 feet, a steel churn seven feet in diameter and nine feet long."

Inside the Bakers Shop, Maryborough, Qld .
The Baker Cart and Staff.
Staff picnics at Hervey Bay were attended by the staff. “On Saturday afternoons and after work and on public holidays, the staff of about seven people would sit in and on top of the baker cart while dad drove them.”
Corner of Esplanade and Pier Street Urangan, Qld.

The Erbacher’s were very industrious and also had a nursery in the backyard of their house. “The nursery covered an area of two acres, with large ferneries covering a quarter of an acre, one partly covered by glass”. The nursery was planted with gladioli and dahlias "with about one acre of double gerberas."
Double gerberas & sweet pea trellises 18 feet high

Raised Seed Beds 168 Sussex Street, Maryborough, Qld.

Part of Erbacher's Nursery 168 Sussex Street, Maryborough, Qld.

John recalls that “Dad began gradually converting the baker shop into a fruit shop, and for some years he ran both businesses together.” When the bakery was completely converted to a fruit shop John recalls in the busy Christmas period that up to seventeen staff were employed.
Erbacher's remodeled fruitshop.

The staff with Albert Erbacher at left and Sylvia Erbacher and Rodney Spies at right.

The Staff with Rodney Spies and Albert Erbacher at far right.

John also told us some tales about Joe the pig man who collected fruit scraps from the store with his old draught horse and wagon.

Another fond memory was the Marykhana “Each year Dad entered a float in the Marykhana procession when the staff, elaborately dressed, boarded the decorated truck and threw out fruit samples to the crowds.”
Making a Float for the Marykhana

 Erbachers' fruit shop float in Marykhana
Lots more stories can be found in this or the many other books written by the Erbacher’s and found in the library. They are all interwoven with their formidable zest for life and humour.
 Albert Erbacher with 4 hp Rip Tide outboard and the Urangan Pier in the background.

Images  taken by John Erbacher will be catalogued.
Published with consent from John and Sue Erbacher
Source Erbacher, J., & Erbacher, S. (2005).Days of my Youth.S Urangan: Erbachers
Tags #Maryborough  #fruitshop  #bakery #Erbacher #Worldwar2

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