Remembering Max Ewer: one of the last Soldier Settlers

The late Maxwell 'Max' Ewer, like many of the soldier settlers of Lucindale, worked hard to make the town what it was in the aftermath of World War Two.

Speaking with his grandson Paul Ewer, and local historian Neill Allford, Max was originally from suburban Adelaide, and his father was a house builder.

He signed up to join the Navy in 1940 when he was only 18 years old - "one of the kids," as Neill put it.

After the war he joined the rest of the Soldier Settlers in Lucindale, with a parcel of land from the government.

Max was given section 258-259 on West Avenue, and had 528 acres of property.

"Lucindale wasn't like how you see now," Paul said.

"There was very little infrastructure, and a lot of it was just bog.

"You had these green young men, with their wives and children, and many of them had no farming experience.

"And it wasn't like modern farming, a lot of it was done with little machinery. They had to develop the land themselves."

But contrary to expectations, Lucindale thrived. And Max had a particular skill with plants that made him stand out.

"He loved his native plants. Hakeas in particular, he was just mad about them," Paul recalled.

"He would travel around Australia looking for them, they're a unique plant, like a shrub."

Thanks to Max, many of the plants in and around town thrived.

He planted trees and other forms of flora around the golf course, bowling green, and the pine tree at the cemetery.

"And Max was a gentleman - a real quiet achiever," Neill said.

"He was the type that would tip his hat to ladies, and whenever he saw you in the street he'd stop to have a chat."

Max was one of the last soldier settlers left when he passed away on March 8.

Surviving soldier settlers include Bert and Lillian Cooke, and Kelly Wegner, who resides in Victor Harbour.

Max's wife was Mignon, and his children were Dale and Julie, Peter and Kathy, Verity and Jim, and Mandy and Gilbert.

He is also survived by seven grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren.

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