Next meeting of the Burnside Historical Society

From the Buffalo to Beaumont: the olive in South Australia

7:30 pm Monday 19 August 2019

Presented by Margaret Ford OAM

The olive has been an essential commodity for centuries, a source of oil for medicine, food, and even waterproofing boots! At least one olive plant came out on HMS Buffalo in 1836. One of those trees is said to survive in North Adelaide. There have been olive oil scandals, including SA oil sold as pure, but contaminated with cotton seed. Names such as Stevenson, Bailey and Davenport are part of the South Australian story. A tiny piece of paper, probably a label from an olive oil bottle of about 1890, claiming purity, no contaminants, was the impetus for this talk.

Margaret Ford trained as a primary school teacher in 1964-65 and has been learning ever since. She has been principal of 4 primary schools, project manager for state-wide education areas like crime prevention, provided advice to the Minister for Education and written replies for Hansard. Her passion has always been history, especially the social history of South Australia. She has presented papers to state history conferences and associations on topics ranging from Spitfires to Crossley cars. Her passion for the study of olive oil began at Beaumont House, working as a volunteer with the Burnside Branch National Trust SA. The evening will culminate with an olive oil tasting by Michael Johnston, President Olives SA.

All welcome. No charge. Refreshments provided.


Coralie Soward Hall, Burnside Community Centre (adjacent Burnside Library)

401 Greenhill Road, Tusmore SA 5065

Enter car park from Fisher Street, off Portrush Road