Water pipe which services Monarto renamed Max Paech Pipeline

Monarto's water pipeline has been named after the man who spent 44 years ensuring it was maintained to the highest standard.

Max Paech started maintaining the Monarto Water Network (MWN) Pipeline in 1973, when he was 30 years old.

The pipeline was built by the state government during the Monarto Development Commission era and then taken over by the Department of Recreation and Sport.

The responsibility then fell to the Aboriginal Sobriety Group who are based at Lakalinjeri Tumbetin Waal (the former Frahn's Farm).

Max was often joined by daughter Alison, who helped with meter reading, identifying leaks, repairs and maintenance.

In 2017, the community began self-managing the water supply to 26 customers, and after 44 years and at 74 years of age, Max was ready to hand over the reins.

Max sadly passed away on August 1, 2019.

Monarto farmer and longtime friend of Max, Robert Thiele, suggested the pipeline be named the Max Paech Pipeline, and MWN, Max's family, and Monarto community members commemorated his unwavering dedication through the renaming.

"We wanted to show our deep gratitude for Max's dedicated service to this community and to the maintenance of the water supply," Robert said.

"Over the years there have been many changes in Monarto but Max was always dependable.

"He lived his whole life in Monarto and he did so much for the community."

Four MWN members, including local historian Barry Wilson, built a commemorative wall out of local stone on Department of Environment and Water land at Frahn's Farm and included a plaque to pay tribute to Max.

On Sunday, November 29, 2020, after a well-timed puff of wind and a bit of assistance from Max's widow Maxine and children Craig, Alison and Tamara and their families, the plaque was officially unveiled.

Max's sister Doris and brother-in-law Max Klenke also assisted.

The commemoration concluded at the Monarto Lutheran Church Hall with afternoon tea and a slide show depicting Max's life, family and some of the recent renewal works on the pipeline.

Robert said it was a great way to honour Max and his community work.

"Water is just so important to us and Max gave us a secure water supply for over four decades," he said.

"We wanted to recognise his contribution and we felt there was no better way to demonstrate our appreciation than to name the pipeline in his honour."

The network is managed by a committee, including Robert, Phil Carr, Lindsay Burns, Laurice Braithwaite and Airlie Keen, with Nina Betts as chairperson.

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