Home' The Mt Barker Courier : The Courier - 2016-02-10 Contents PAGE 12 – The Courier Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Still young despite her 95 years
By Judy Richards-Norris
YOUTHFUL 95-year-old Stella
Crompton is someone who belies
The matriarch of the Crompton family
in Totness is still doing much of what
she has done since moving into her
husband’s family home as a young
bride from Verdun in 1943.
The sharp mind of the great-
grandmother of 11 keeps her happy
and active, allowing her to retain the
position of bookkeeper of the family’s
dairying business, cooking on her
wood-fuelled oven and reading avidly,
mostly about local history.
“I believe that if you don’t use it, you’ll
lose it, so I just keep doing what I have
always done,” she said.
Mrs Crompton is also an active
member of St Andrew’s Presbyterian
Church in Mt Barker, for which she
has served well for more than seven
Her volunteer work as secretary of
the former Presbyterian Women’s
Association for 24 years, treasurer
for 30 and vice-president of the State
Council Country resulted in her
receiving a life membership.
She was the standing committee
treasurer for the Presbyterian
Women’s Mission Union for 19 years
including four years as secretary/
treasurer and the Onkaparinga
Presbyterian Association valued her as
She was also a Sunday School teacher
and pianist and church organist for
18 years and, with her husband Wilf,
entertained many guest ministers
through her husband’s position of
session clerk, an office he held for more
than 50 years.
Failing eyesight forced her to give up
driving and she reluctantly also gave
up knitting and crocheting.
“But I realise that I’ve been very
fortunate to still be able to do most
things for so long,” she said.
Born in Hahndorf in 1920, Mrs
Crompton was the second of five
children to railway worker Harold and
Elizabeth Radbone of Verdun.
The family home was a small orchard
on the banks of the Onkaparinga River
where she and her siblings enjoyed
a carefree childhood, with picnics,
swimming, boating and making
She attended Verdun Primary, a one-
teacher school with 40 students, before
moving to Goodwood Girls Central
“I had to ride my bike to Ambleside to
catch the train to Goodwood,” she said.
At 14, she noticed 15-year-old Wilf
Crompton, who offered to carry her
schoolcase and a lifelong friendship
Busy teenage years of athletics, tennis,
basketball, table tennis and learning
the piano followed and at 17 she
gained a cashier/clerk position at the
Adelaide Railway Station.
“During the week I lived on the
top floor of the Railway Station
overlooking the wonderful view of St
Peters Cathedral, but always looked
forward to going home to the Hills at
the weekend,” she said.
At 22, she left her job to marry her
childhood sweetheart Wilf and the
couple settled on the 46ha Crompton
“As it was war years, most social
activities were on hold but everyone
rose to the occasion, helping out
with petrol rationing, transport and
refreshments,” she said.
“The church secretary Harold Carr
drove us to the church, Wilf ’s uncle
Max Choat provided a bus to transport
guests and the ladies of the church
provided a lovely spread.
“It seemed that most of Mt Barker
came out to share in our joy.
“I was so overwhelmed with everyone’s
generosity I vowed to serve the church
from then on.”
As Wilf ’s father had died 20 years
earlier, the young couple had to work
hard to bring the farm back into
“It was all horse power for the first
few years, but later after the war,
electricity was put on and we bought
a tractor, milking machine and other
farm machinery,” she said.
“It was a happy but busy life, with
children Arthur, Robin and Kenneth
and daughter Elizabeth, working the
farm and growing potatoes and onions
to subsidise our dairy of about 12
cows,” she said.
“Wilf converted his mother’s old
Plymouth into a buckboard ute so we
could take the produce on market days
to the East End Market and I made
the most of it by visiting the shops in
“I still wash our clothes in my old
original tin wash-house.
“I was in it when that huge storm hit
the Hills a couple of weeks ago – the
lightning seemed to come through the
shed – it was the scariest storm I had
“I remember the baker, butcher and
greengrocer delivering goods to our
house and when there were 13 dairy
farmers in our area up to Windmill
Hill – now there is only our dairy left.
“My children and their families still
live on the property, so I see them
every day – it’s wonderful.
“We had ups and downs as all family’s
do – I remember how proud we were
to watch Arthur in Country Eleven
cricket team at Port Pirie when he
was chosen to be opening batsman for
Australia against England.
“But there have been sad times as well
when Kenneth died at the age of 26
and Wilf four years ago.
“Our children, grandchildren and
great-grandchildren have given
me great joy and our family is still
growing with two little ones born last
“I am grateful for all the good times
and the guidance God has given me
throughout my life.
“I’ve been blessed with good health, a
happy marriage, a loving family and
many wonderful friends – all thanks to
An unauthorised shed
extension in Stirling that
was hotly opposed by the
property’s neighbors has
been granted planning
The 14sqm, open-ended
addition went to the
and Development Court
when the owner appealed
an Adelaide Hills Council
enforcement notice stopping
court’s conference process,
a development application
was lodged and heard by
the council’s Development
Assessment Panel last week.
Panel presiding member
Iris Iwanicki said the
outbuilding and its extension
was adequately screened
and the encroachment on the
boundary buffer was minor.
But she urged the applicant
to talk to his neighbors prior
to engaging in any future
Aldi fever is set to hit Mt
Barker when the German
shoppers next month.
An Aldi spokesperson said
construction of the store, in
the Barker Plaza Shopping
Street, was “going well” and
The discount supermarket
will create 15 to 20 full time
and part-time employment
positions, the spokesperson
“Along with fresh fruit,
delivered daily, Mt Barker
shoppers will have access to
more than 1350 high quality
products, including award-
winning grocery essentials
special buys,” they said.
The company celebrated
the opening of four stores
across Adelaide last week as
part of a State-wide roll out
of up to 50 Aldi stores set to
be opened over the next few
Aldi on track for opening
Shed extension approved
Call Mark or John
Ph (08) 8346 5081
Woodside Natural Resources
Thursday 25 February
7.30 - 9pm
For further information or to register,
please phone Anne Piro or Olivia Leske
on 8336 0901, or email
Please register early as spaces are limited.
Phone: 8391 1388
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