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Oscar Carl Zwar (C8.2)

  • Born: 7th March 1900 at Port Pirie, South Australia
  • Parents:
    Charles Jacob and Johanna Pauline Marie Zwar (nee Will)
    • Married:
    • 4th October 1928, Regina VERA HAUSCHILD, Crossville Lutheran Church, South Australia
  • Lived:
    Port Pirie, Queensland canefields, Mangalo, Point Pass, Berri, Cleve
  • Died: 12 October 1962
  • Buried: Cleve cemetery

Detailed Biography


Oscar Carl Zwar was born on the 7th March 1900 at Port Pirie, the second child of Charles Jacob and Johanna Pauline Marie (nee Will) Zwar. His older brother Herbert died in 1899 aged just 14 months. His other siblings were Lucia (born 26.9.1902), Crispina (born 26/7/1904), and Harrold (born 16/11/1908).

Schooling was at Pirie Blocks State School.


Oscar worked on the family farm, some six miles south of Port Pirie, and also worked on the sugar cane fields in Queensland for several years.

In 1928 the family moved to Eyre Peninsula to share farm for Fred Will, who was a brother of Oscar’s mother. Oscar eventually owned his own farm nearby until he sold in 1952.


Oscar married Regina Vera Hauschild (known as Vera) on 4/10/1928 at Crossville Lutheran Church, which is a few miles east of Cleve. Their daughter Myra Pauline was born at Cowell on 14/4/1932. They lived on the farm in a four room dwelling which he later extended to a four bedroom home.


Four Generations   Standing: Oscar Zwar, Myra Schutz Seated: Jack Zwar and baby Christine Schutz


Living a distance from any town, his mechanical ability was much sought after by many of his neighbours for repairing tractors and farm machinery. At times there could be a dozen or more vehicles and tractors lined up in front of his workshop. During World War 2, he was a member of the VDC (Voluntary Defence Corps), and was appointed the local constable for the area.

Devout Christian

Oscar was a devout Christian, serving as Lay Reader and Treasurer of the Crossville congregation for many years. He also was very involved during the construction of the Cleve Parish Hall in 1959. After disposing of their farm in 1952, Oscar and Vera lived in Point Pass and Berri until about 1954 when they returned to Cleve.

Lee Transport

At Cleve Oscar took over as manager of Lee Transport, later to become Western Hauliers, on the current site of the offices of the District Council of Cleve. They built a new house of white Mount Gambier stone on the adjacent block to the north of the freight depot.

Oscar remained in this role until ill health forced him to retire.

Oscar passed away on 12th October 1962 and is buried in the Cleve cemetery.

© Myra Schutz
(The above information was provided by his daughter Myra Schutz, living at Point Pass, South Australia. July 2013)

Some Reminiscences I have of Uncle Oscar (Alan Zwar)

 The Motor Bike

I remember my Dad (Harrold) telling me that one time when he was probably a teenager, Uncle Oscar and a mate had been working on a motor bike but had been able to get it to start. I understand that at that time motorbikes did not have a ‘kick start’ mechanism, so the rider had to engage the gear, then holding the clutch lever disengaged run with the bike to get some speed then release the clutch and leap astride when it started. Dad was laughing at these two older fellows becoming exhausted from their efforts, so they told him to see if he could do better. He began pushing it and next thing it started and as he’d never ridden a motor bike before, he was running alongside calling, “What to I do now ?”

 Blacksmith Hammer

A story I was told about, probably when Uncle Oscar was in Queensland and looking for work, he got a job as a blacksmith’s helper. His duties included swinging a sledgehammer to flatten or shape the red hot metal which had been heated in the forge and placed onto the big anvil. Of course he’d told his employer that he knew all about what was required. Now, the blacksmith has a small hammer which he uses to tap the spot on the hot metal where the helper needs to hit it with the heavy sledge hammer. But if the small hammer is placed on the anvil itself, and not on the heated metal, it means to not swing the sledge hammer this time. Uncle Oscar wasn’t aware of that part. So his boss tapped the little hammer on the anvil then leaned over to inspect the shaping of the metal, just as the sledge hammer was swung again. Apparently, when the blacksmith recovered, he sacked his new helper.

 Our Faithful Pet

When Uncle Oscar left the farm I was still at school, and they had a farm sheep dog which was mostly black, called ‘Nigger’. (So politically incorrect nowadays). Nigger was good with children and as he wasn’t sold at the clearing sale, was given to us as a pet. I remember on the way home from the farm to Rudall we had no where to carry him except with us three children in the back seat of the Vanguard car. Nigger was standing in amongst our legs. Along the winding road from the farm to Cleve, Nigger vomited all over my lap from car sickness in these cramped conditions. When we got home, Nigger was chained up, but next morning was missing, having broken either the chain or his collar. However, before we left to catch the bus to school, he was waiting at the back door of the house, much to our relief. He was our faithful pet for a number of years.

Farting Muffler

When they were living in Cleve, Uncle Oscar had an Austin A70 car, I think silver or grey in colour. Once when they were visiting us at Rudall for Sunday lunch, I tied a length of bicycle tube to the end of the exhaust pipe, as I knew that would make ‘farty’ noises when the engine was running. Imagine my disappointment when they drove off with no obvious extra noises, and the bike tube just hanging limply off the end of the exhaust pipe. Apparently, there were so many holes in the muffler, there wasn’t much gas pressure coming out the end.

Spot Light Shooting

Some time in the early 1960’s, as a result of a spotlighting night shooting kangaroos, I’d accidentally got a 50mm long laceration to my right hand at about midnight, when someone’s knife slipped while skinning a ‘roo for barbequing. So one of my mates was driving me to Cleve hospital along an unfamiliar dirt road, and came to a tee junction just over the top of a rise. The driver tried to brake hard and make the turn to the right but on loose gravel we skidded sideways, hit the edge and flipped on to the roof. We were in my Dads Vanguard ute, which had hurdles on the back for safety while spotlighting, and these prevented the roof from being badly crushed, but they and the roof were bent somewhat sideways. So we then walked by moonlight until we saw a farmhouse perhaps a half mile from the road, and woke up the farmer to take us to Cleve. It could have been as late as 4 am by the time we arrived at the hospital. They called the Doctor (who’d only got to bed at 2 am after delivering babies) to stitch my hand. Then we walked down to Uncle Oscar’s house and woke him to take us home, as my parents were away. A few hours later, and the local anaesthetic had worn off, and I was wondering how to rescue the damaged ute, and lo and behold, it arrives around the corner with the roof bent sideways and Uncle Oscar at the wheel. He’d gone out with the Lee Transport delivery truck and pulled the ute onto it’s wheels. However, the engine wouldn’t turn over since the cylinders had filled with oil while it was upside down. So he’d removed the spark plugs and spun the engine over to clear the oil out, but forgot to stay clear and got sprayed with oil for his trouble.

© Alan Zwar