Book Foreword

Maya has created a brilliant history of national importance in her publication Bound by Compassion. The story describes the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia – Hahndorf. This unique town, nestled in the arms of the rolling Adelaide hills has a rich cultural heritage proudly embraced and sustained by the community. Maya’s love for the Hahndorf community shines through as she relates the grand task confronting them in establishing St. Paul’s Lutheran Homes.

Our journey begins when Maya introduces us to the history of the early Lutheran Church taking the reader to the other side of the world and the little Kingdom of Prussia in 1817. Her story paints a picture of an astounding decision envisaged by a small congregation of people to escape the tyranny of religious persecution and seek solace in a `promised land’. Their dream eventuating when, after years of brutal suffering, the congregation of fifty-four families sail across the world to a safe haven in the glorious hills of Adelaide. They were granted land to establish a town of their own – Hahndorf. The year was 1839.

In remembering the first people, the Peramangk, who knew these hills and the Hahndorf area to be their homeland for thousands of years, Maya sympathetically describes their way of life, their customs and the impact of new settlers invading the country. The Peramangk had mostly vacated the hills by the time of the arrival of our emigrants. However, they have a memorable place in the history of the town as Maya’s publication respectfully describes.

The establishment of St. Paul’s Lutheran Homes Hahndorf becomes the central theme of the publication. It is a fascinating record of a passionate community working together for the comfort and benefit of those in need. The dedication of residents, families, pastors, friends and board members to completing this dream is evident in Maya’s compassionate narrative of unfolding events. The details of great achievements and challenges are reported in the most minute detail. Personal recollections are deeply meaningful and colour the story with humour, love and hope for the future.

Congratulations Maya on your magnificent contribution to the celebration of not only the town and people of Hahndorf but also to the history of our great southern land, Australia.

Elynor Frances Olijnyk

(Grad. Adelaide Teacher’s College, Mem. Aust. Historical Assoc., RSASA and Writers SA)
Author of ‘Charles Robbins RN 1782 -1805-His Place in Maritime History’, ‘Taking Possession: A Saga of the Great South Land’, ‘The Good Provider’