Kilt Up

April 26th, 2019
Kilt Up
By Morgan Burley

In 1842, Scottish settlers, the Rankine family, built a timber and stone house that would be used throughout the years for church services, town picnics, conferences, and weddings.

That home is commonly known today as Glenbarr.

“Many of the buildings around South Australia from this time had a grand British style of architecture, but Glenbarr has key stylistic elements that link back to its Scottish heritage,” treasurer of the Bowman Bateman Foundation, which manages Glenbarr, Stephanie Kent said.

“It’s important to remember that the Rankine clan were pioneers, and this was one of the first buildings in Strathalbyn.”

Despite some modifications and additional features, much of the homestead remains original and unchanged from previous generations.

The homestead housed four generations of the Rankine family before it and the 35 acres of property surrounding it were sold to Richard Giles and his family in 1923.

In 1934, Richard Giles’ niece, Daphne Bowman, began to use the site in the Girl Guide movement, and with the help of friend Kathleen Bateman, would later establish it as a campsite to assist unprivileged children.

“What these women did, particularly in this era, is quite rare and remarkable,” secretary Vicki Clark said.

With the outbreak of World War II, Daphne decided to use the house in support of the war efforts, where she gained her pilot’s certificate.

Vicki added that the work and sacrifice of Daphne and Kathleen, earnt them both OAMs.

Today, the Bowman Bateman Foundation hopes to keep Daphne and Kathleen’s dreams alive with a clear focus on youth-related activities and recognising and celebrating their Scottish heritage.

“It’s important for everyone to remember where they come from – to celebrate the past and strive for the future,” Vicki said.

On April 28 from 11am, The Glenbarr Homestead will host its 16th annual Highland Gathering - a celebration of heritage and culture.

“You don’t need to be Scottish to enjoy the day and there’s lots to do and try,” Vicki said.

“We’ve tried to accommodate to everyone, and have new experiences for those willing to give it a go.”

Stephanie said that one of the key highlights she is looking forward to is tasting haggis, and watching the Scottish dancers and bagpipe players perform.

“It’s a wonderful day out, and it’s great to see so many from different heritages come together,” Stephanie said.

The day will feature stalls, crafts, performances, raffles, and even a warrior display from a local clan.
All proceeds will benefit the Glenbarr Homestead.

For more information, visit the Glenbarr Homestead’s Facebook page.

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