Report a Fault: (08) 8586 6050| Annual General Meeting 2 December 2024

History events

RIT’s history events for the Renmark community

Innovation and Cultural change: channels to pipes program 1968-1977

The Trust hosted a panel event at the Renmark Paringa Library on May 29 2024.

Panel: Ray Najar – Phil Sims – Robert Tucker

This program was the first irrigation conversion program in Australia. It produced a 33% gain in water efficiency, and provided irrigators with metered usage and an organised ordering system.

There were also cultural changes. Children, who loved to swim in the channels, were no longer able to. The channelmen who had been the mainstay of the irrigation system for the previous 50 years, were no longer needed.

Background information to the event can be found here

A video of the panel event on 29 May as part of the SA History Festival
A 16mm film of the pipeline scheme, filmed in the early 1970s, shows key aspects of the program

There is also more information in a slideshow which was created for the event.

RIT and the rebuilding of Renmark after the 1956 Flood

Event held on 3 May 2023 at the Renmark Paringa Library as part of the SA History Trust Festival

“Let us never to suffer again the tragedy of 1956”

The video of the event can be viewed on YouTube here

Background information to the event is here

50th Anniversary of the commissioning of the Main Pumping Station (December 2022)

1 December 2022 marked the 50th anniversary of the commissioning of the Trust’s Main Pumping Station (MPS). 

On the 28 January 1965 Thomas Playford, Premier of SA, and the Minister of Lands met with RIT to discuss the proposed redevelopment of the Trust irrigation infrastructure.  The Premier agreed for the State to loan the Trust £560,000 to build a pumping station capable of pumping 55,100 gallons per minute (around 4,000 litres per second) that would replace the existing No 1 pumping station and all the major and minor pumping stations taking water from Bookmark Creek. 

In 1967 the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee (RITRAC) was formed to oversee the projects. It comprised experts from Adelaide departments and Trust representatives, Rod Maddocks, Stan Heritage and Don Tripney. Rod Maddocks and Malcolm Gallasch were the two RIT engineers who managed the project. 

Premier Don Dunstan commissioned the MPS at a function on 1 December 1972. Some photos from the 1972 event are below.

Woolenook Bend Japanese Internment Camp 1942-1945

Drawing on interviews from Renmark’s residents, and 80-year-old photographs, RIT staff gave a talk in May 2022 on the Japanese internees at Woolenook Bend, near Renmark, as part of the SA History History Month events.

Trust staff also attended a Symposium on Japanese war art at Flinders University in July 2022 where they presented information about the critical role of Japanese woodcutters, from the Woolenook Bend Internment Camp, in keeping the lights on and the pumps running in Renmark, and to supply electricity to the Loveday internment camp near Barmera.

A powerpoint of the talk is here.