Old Minutes
Minutes from the Old Days 


On the 13th March 2005 the choir took part in the South Australian Festival of Male Choirs. During interval a couple of members (Manfred Grafton and Bill van de Water) were chatting with a member of the Adelaide Metropolitan Male Choir. This man turned out to be a warden in the Adelaide Lutheran archives, and he revealed that the archives had in its possession a minute book of the Adelaider Liedertafel dating back to the 1850's. He offered to photocopy the book and give us the copy. Needless to say, we accepted his offer with alacrity.

Almost certainly, this book would have been given to the Lutheran church for safekeeping following the outbreak of World War I, with its attendant anti-German hysteria. That topic is dealt with elsewhere in these pages.

Manfred set about translating the old German gothic script into English. Bill then took Manfred's output, tidied it up and published it in these pages. It was a labour of love - all ALT members down through the years have heard about our "founding fathers" - first Conductor Carl Linger, first President J.W. Schierenbeck and our longest-serving President JFM Armbrüster (26 years). We are thrilled that through the fortuitous discovery of these irreplaceable records these men live and breathe again.

This first book contained priceless records of meetings between 4th October 1859 and 13th August 1861. These meetings have all been translated and published here. When that was finally finished, however, we were hungry for more and went looking for the next book. We were amazed to discover it in our very own store-room, which begs the question - what other artefacts are hidden in that room?

Certain liberties have been taken with the text in order to make it more readable. Dot points have been used to make meanings more clear. These do not appear in the original text. As well, certain words have been added in order to further increase clarity - these words appear in square brackets; thus: [and he said that]

The first recorded minutes is of a meeting on 4th October 1859. It seems that at this meeting the ALT decided to begin taking minutes of all  their meetings, with the implication being that no formal minutes exist for meetings prior to this. At least initially, minutes were recorded for ordinary practices as well as committee meetings.

The names of these founding members live on. Open up any South Australian telephone directory today and you're likely to find many of the names that are contained in these pages - Armbrüster, Schierenbeck, Ziegler, Maraun, Braun and Niehuus.

Click the year to go to the relevant page:


bulletIt is decided to begin recording minutes
bulletHerr Alerding leaves the choir because he gets a job in Black Forest
bulletHerr Armbrüster resigns, but is readmitted a few weeks later
bulletHerr Bartels is fined 2/6 (two shillings and sixpence, or 25c) for missing three practices without an apology
bulletThe ALT performs at a concert for the South Australian Institute
bulletThe ALT travels to Port Adelaide on the horse-drawn bus "Victoria" for a concert - but not without incident
bulletHerr Bartels misses more practices


bulletHerr Armbrüster gets married and presents the choir with its own banner
bulletCarl Linger's wife Wilhelmene dies, closely followed by the death of member Maraun's wife
bulletThe ALT gets a frosty reception at the "King's Shoot"
bulletHerr Braun works his fingers to the bone, writing new songs into members' song books
bulletThe ALT conducts a very successful jubilee evening, travels to the German Club's Christmas picnic in style, and celebrates New Year's eve at the Hamburg Hotel instead of a "distant" restaurant in Stepney


bulletThe German composer KF Zöllner dies and the ALT raises money for his estate
bulletSome members get their noses out of joint because they weren't acknowledged in a letter to Germany
bulletA professor lectures the ALT
bulletHerr Kindermann is admitted as a member, does not turn up for practices and is booted out, but later returns
bulletA comedy sketch "The Wax Works" forms part of an ALT entertainment evening and goes over very well
bulletHerr Braun forgets the song books
bulletThe ALT and its guests show extraordinary stamina by dancing and celebrating until 5:30am at an "entertainment evening".
bulletThe ALT conducts an inventory, amends its constitution and clamps down on non-attendees and disruptive members
bulletHerr Braun resigns as Treasurer
bulletCarl Linger suffers from ill health and cannot attend practices
bulletThe ALT puts on another "entertainment evening", and the closing item "Witches' Sabbath" is received with "frantic applause"
bulletThe choir is concerned about Carl Linger's health and preliminary moves are made for his eventual replacement
bulletThe ALT celebrates New Year's Eve with a party at Mr Weidenbach's restaurant in Glen Osmond, featuring a torch parade


bulletThe ALT auctions off some obsolete inventory items, realising £2
bulletCarl Linger dies. The ALT accompanies his cortege to the West Terrace Cemetery
bulletLife goes on - the choir performs at a member's wedding celebrations
bulletThe ALT performs at a "soiree" in White's Rooms but knocks back an invitation to sing at a festival in the parklands
bulletHerr Hanhen, who left the choir under a cloud, apologises for his rude remarks and asks to be reinstated
bulletFounding Secretary Theo Niehuus resigns his position, pleading an inability to get to future meetings on time
bulletThe choir's "landlord", Herr Wedemeier, announces a happy event
bulletHerr Nettelbeck, a future president of the ALT, joins the choir as a 2nd tenor.
bulletSecretary Niebour and the Mumme brothers resign from the ALT following an undocumented rift in the choir. Theo Niehuus, after a rest of only 3 months, once again takes on the secretary's job.
bulletThe choir organises a benefit concert for the survivors of a shipwreck, realising £26.8.0
bulletThe choir receives an invitation to perform at a soiree for the Port Adelaide Institute.
bulletThe choir knocks back an invitation from the German Club to become affiliated.
bulletCelebrations are held for the birth of two members' sons
bulletA future conductor and life member joins the choir


bulletThe choir's lyre emblem becomes part of the uniform.
bulletMr Bickford (who later established the cordial factory which is still in existence) asks to borrow some songbooks. They help to establish the North Adelaide Liedertafel.
bulletPoor old Mr Braun again hits the song books.
bulletThe choir lends 19 lanterns to Government House.

The last entry in the second minute book was on 12th May 1863.


This page was last updated Sunday, 05 January 2014