Bizarre story behind Aussie beer
RESCH is one of the great Aussie beer brands.
It was created by Edmund Resch, a pioneer of the very first activity of beer-brewing in Australia.
The beer has been around for several years - but what you may not realise is this old favourite has actually survived a troubled history.
It was started by Edmund Resch.
When Edmund was 16-years-old, he and his youngest brother Richard arrived in Australia from Germany.
After spending time on Victorian and New South Wales minefields, and then as hoteliers in Queensland, they decided to buy a cordial and aerated water factory in Wilcannia, a small town in NSW in 1877, before opening the Lion Brewery in 1883.
As business flourished they purchased a brewery in Cootamundra and Tibooburra - both in NSW - and renamed it the Lion Brewery.
But by 1885 the brothers decided to part ways and mutually agreed that Richard would carry on at Cootamundra and Tibooburra and Edmund at Wilcannia. This is where Edmund built up an enviable reputation as a skilful brewer.
He also went on to purchase Allt's Brewery in 1897 and acquired the NSW Lager Bier Brewing Company Ltd's (Waverley Brewery) in Redfern.
Aussies loved his beer so much that his brewers' output secured much of the state's market - upholding the title of 'brewer by appointment to His Excellency the Governor-General' from 1904 to 1914. In 1906, Resch's Ltd was reportedly incorporated with a capital of £150,000 ($A270,000).
According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, during World War I Edmund contributed generously to the war effort and made up the difference in pay for about sixty employees who had enlisted.
But despite his success, economic contribution and being an Australian citizen for more than 50 years, he was arrested and interned at Holsworthy in November 1917.
He later died at his home, which was named 'The Swifts', at Darling Point in 1923, with an estate understood to be worth more than £316,000 ($A570,000).
Professor, author and historian Peter Monteath's new book Captured Lives features the story of Edmund Resch, together with more than 40 other prisoner of war and civilian internees detained during the two world wars.
"The idea was to shine a light on an area which was largely only darkness to date," Prof Monteath said.
"Edmund was one of the older internees, he was 70 when he was naturalised. He had been living in Australia for a very long time, he was elderly, had contributed economically and brought new skills … so it was difficult to make a case that he was a genuine security threat."
"He built himself to be in a position of being the best known brewer in Australia on the eve of the war. Resch was a household name in parts of Australia," Prof Monteath said.
Edmund's loss of liberty was preceded by the circulation of malicious rumours about his loyalty, particularly in union circles.
"Some even gave up drinking Resch's beer for the duration of the war," Prof Monteath said.
In 1929 Resch's Waverley Brewery was taken over by Tooth and Co and later disappeared under the banner of Carlton and United Breweries during the 1980s, but the company still produces Resch's Draught and Pilsner.
Prof Monteath said the experiences were largely the same for most of the POWs and civilian internees.
As part of the 1916 War Precautions (Alien Restriction) Regulations all non-British subjects aged fifteen and over were required to register their whereabouts.
"It was a time of frustration, a sense of their lives were being wasted and in many cases, they didn't know why they had been interned.
"Many understood themselves to be loyal Australians, there was certainly disbelief to find themselves in that situation."
Edmund shared the same camp with German photographer Paul Dubotzki who too was regarded as an "enemy alien" after the outbreak of World War I.
"In a move they might have come to regret, the military authorities allowed him to keep his
camera, which he used to document conditions inside the internment camps," Prof Monteath said, describing some of them as having "awful" conditions.
"The works of both men shine a light on a piece of Australian history which is largely forgotten, and yet which has many echoes in the present."