How a school teacher became the Jervois regions Cheesemaker

Lindsay Sims

Lindsay Sims

In 1931 Lindsay Sims became the Headmaster/School Teacher for the seven grades at the Jervois West Primary School, where 37 children attended.

Things were tough during the Great Depression, with plenty of work but very little money. Jervois promised more than most areas as dairying was well established; milk boats transported the milk to the Farmers Union Factory at Murray Bridge.

By 1937 the system of milk payments was so bad the farmers often received a nil payment for their milk. A meeting was held to discuss the problems and options available. Lindsay acted as minute secretary. A decision was made to form The Jervois Co-operative Dairying Society Limited.

The Jervois milk was made into cheese and in 1938 Jervois Cheese won first prize in export class, but they needed a factory of their own and when Toni Cheso offered one acre of his land for £800, it was accepted.

In 1939 the factory was built and a manager was required, which Lindsay applied for, causing absolute horror in the community. 'How could a school teacher make cheese? Offer him a secretarial job instead'. A special meeting was held where Lindsay stated he would either be Manager and Secretary or nothing at all. Eventually, Lindsay was allowed to apply.

86 applicants applied for the job but eventually the decision was to select the devil-we-know rather than someone little was known about, and Lindsay was given the position. Resigning as Headmaster on April 15, 1938 he spent the Easter weekend learning cheese making from Ludvig Hansen at Myponga.

The factory opened and received it's first milk delivery on June 11, 1939. Lindsay resigned in 1951.