Countdown: Blog 152: A tribute to HJ Oliver

This week would have been Herbert (HJ) Oliver’s 89th birthday. Today we salute a lovely man who we miss dearly.

Herbert Oliver: 1922 – 2001

Herbert inherited a bustling business when his father passed away in 1970, and he knew it – he’d been working for Oliver’s Taranga for more than half of his life before taking the reins at age 48.

Herbert or “HJ” as he was known, was the man who turned Oliver’s Taranga into a grapes only business. He loved the grape and decided it would be the sole focus for Oliver’s Taranga.

HJ Oliver

HJ was quite the bachelor in the mid 1920’s, wooing his love Marjorie (see previous blog) at dance after dance in McLaren Vale and Adelaide. Marjorie’s “dance journal” reveals details of these soirees “I had an extra dance with Bert (HJ) tonight” she writes.

Also detailed in the journal are details of every dance style that Marjorie and HJ danced to – from the foxtrot to the King’s Waltz and the tango to the Palais Glyde.

In 1948 with the help of the native aboriginal people, the 1948 block was planted and just a few years later,  HJ and Marjorie welcomed their son Donald John, a brother for Roby n and Colin, who would  take Oliver’s Taranga into the new millennium…

HJ was a keen sportsman (as we are finding most Oliver’s are) and a man with one serious work ethic.

Our finest wine at Oliver’s Taranga is named in HJ’s memory (pictured).

This week, when he would have celebrated his 89th birthday, we say thankyou, and we miss you.