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Shear Women


The Australian Lutheran Almanac 1928 page 61  'A few pages from the life of the Fathers.'  "Tho' much is taken, much abides"  by Pastor A. BRAUER.

'More Handicaps' 

"The new arrivals had paid a high price for their land.  Land that had been purchased a 1 pound per acre was sold to the Lutheran pioneers for 7 pound an acre.  Then credit for necessary provisions amounted to 1,500 pounds. In addition, there were the so called "ships debts."  It was a hard struggle for many of them; and many long and dreary years passed before a number of them were able to discharge the obligations incurred.  The burden was so heavy that they found it necessary to introduce a strange rule, to the effect that every young who asked for the hand of young woman in marriage, had to give the promise that he would pay the girl's portion of the passage money.  Many a bride, instead of receiving the usual dowry of her marriage, brought with her a debt to be paid gradually by her husband.  

One of the latter told the writer repeatedly that he shore sheep for two seasons in order to discharge the amount debited to his wife, and that the original amount of 18 pound had then accumulated to 30 pound.  Jocularly questioned, whether the young men did not object to the imposition of that "bachelors' tax," and whether they ever twitted their better halves because of the encumbrance?  he replied "No, no;  it was all the other way; my good wife often teased me, by playfully asking: 'Don't you now regret having taking me for better or for worse, with the peculiar dowry I have brought to you?  And may we ask what you replied?   "Certainly; I would point to the Jungen [youngster] in the cradle, and answer; Look, what you have brought  me! If I fail to pay off the debt, that "streamer Bursche" [vigorous lad] will pay it off without difficulty."  Yes, despite all struggles, and difficulties, and encumbrances, there was marital felicity and a happy home life in those roughly made, primitive houses or huts of early Hahndorf!"