Keith, South Australia

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Keith
South Australia
Keith sa.jpg
Water Feature in Keith
Keith is located in South Australia
Keith
Keith
Coordinates 36°05′0″S 140°21′0″E / 36.08333°S 140.35000°E / -36.08333; 140.35000Coordinates: 36°05′0″S 140°21′0″E / 36.08333°S 140.35000°E / -36.08333; 140.35000
Population 1,320 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1889
Postcode(s) 5267
Elevation 31 m (102 ft)
LGA(s) Tatiara District Council
State electorate(s) MacKillop
Federal Division(s) Barker
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
22.2 °C
72 °F
9.1 °C
48 °F
462.0 mm
18.2 in

Keith is a small farming town in the south-east of South Australia. It is approximately 225 km from Adelaide at the junction of the Dukes Highway and the Riddoch Highway. It is sometimes referred to as the 'lucerne capital of Australia' due to the high number of lucerne growers in the region. At the 2006 census, Keith had a population of 1,089.[2] then in 2011 census, Keith had a population of 1,320. [1]

History[edit]

A large granite outcrop outside the town called Mount Monster was a basis for the area's name until it was surveyed in 1884 and officially proclaimed Keith in 1889. It is believed that the town is named after the home town of the Governor of South Australia at the time, Lord Kintore. His home in Aberdeenshire in Scotland was called Keith Hall and he was also known as Earl of Kintore. The Post Office opened around 1874 as Mount Monster and was renamed Keith in 1904.[3] In 1905 the general store was opened, and in 1907 the education department rented rooms out of the local institute to use as the school. 1910 saw the opening of Keith Hotel and the town's provisional school became a public school in 1912.

During the 1940s, the CSIRO found prosperity in the area. With the addition of trace elements, the area became a very productive area. The AMP Society funded the clearing of land to set up farming establishments. A Land Rover sits a top a pole in a historical landmark in the town. In 1957, the local school was made into an area school to accommodate the influx of students.

Today[edit]

Former church building, now the National Trust museum

Several historical buildings still stand today, and many are still in use. The first school building built in the township is still in use by the school. The 1910 church with contemporary lead light windows inspired by local history is a common tourist attraction.

Local artist James Darling designed the local water feature, which celebrates the cycle of water through the Australian landscape and the region's widespread water irrigation.

The local industry is predominantly grain production and livestock grazing. More recently, olive production has been gaining momentum around the area, with a large processing plant opening recently.

Grain silos by the railway at Keith

The town slogan is 'You're in the good country now' and can be found on stubby holders and fridge magnets at the towns main roadhouse.

The town has an Australian Rules football team competing in the Kowree-Naracoorte-Tatiara Football League.[4]

Governance[edit]

Keith is in the Tatiara District Council, the state Electoral district of MacKillop and the federal division of Barker.

Climate[edit]

Keith has a Mediterranean climate with mild, damp winters and warm to hot, dry summers. In the months of January and February 2014, Keith broke its record high temperature on two occasions, recording 46.0 °C on the 14 January, and then recording 46.5 °C on the 2 February, breaking the previous record by 0.5 °C and again by 1 °C.[5][6]

Climate data for Keith
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 46.0
(114.8)
46.5
(115.7)
42.4
(108.3)
37.6
(99.7)
30.8
(87.4)
25.3
(77.5)
26.2
(79.2)
29.2
(84.6)
36.1
(97)
39.2
(102.6)
45.0
(113)
44.1
(111.4)
46.5
(115.7)
Average high °C (°F) 29.9
(85.8)
29.8
(85.6)
26.9
(80.4)
22.5
(72.5)
18.3
(64.9)
15.5
(59.9)
15.0
(59)
16.1
(61)
18.6
(65.5)
21.5
(70.7)
25.0
(77)
27.6
(81.7)
22.2
(72)
Average low °C (°F) 13.1
(55.6)
13.2
(55.8)
11.5
(52.7)
9.3
(48.7)
7.7
(45.9)
5.9
(42.6)
5.5
(41.9)
5.9
(42.6)
7.0
(44.6)
8.2
(46.8)
10.0
(50)
11.9
(53.4)
9.1
(48.4)
Record low °C (°F) 4.4
(39.9)
4.3
(39.7)
2.3
(36.1)
−1.2
(29.8)
−2.3
(27.9)
−4.3
(24.3)
−2.9
(26.8)
−3.8
(25.2)
−1.7
(28.9)
−1.7
(28.9)
0.6
(33.1)
2.7
(36.9)
−4.3
(24.3)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 18.6
(0.732)
20.3
(0.799)
21.3
(0.839)
32.7
(1.287)
52.3
(2.059)
52.9
(2.083)
55.2
(2.173)
58.3
(2.295)
50.5
(1.988)
41.9
(1.65)
31.4
(1.236)
26.9
(1.059)
462.3
(18.2)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 4.1 3.9 4.8 8.1 12.3 13.2 15.3 15.7 13.0 10.7 7.9 6.4 115.4
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[7]

Notable residents[edit]

  • Andy Caldecott - Professional motorcycle rider who won four Australian Safari races, and competed in the Paris Dakar Rally in 2004 (DNF) and was placed 6th in the 2005 race. He died from a severe neck injury during the ninth stage of the Paris Dakar Rally in 2006.
  • Simon Cox - Professional Australian Rules Footballer, played AFL for the Hawthorn Hawks and Western Bulldogs.
  • James Darling - Artist.[8]
  • Jack Redden - Professional AFL player for the West Coast Eagles
  • Leslie Harold Densley (14 Sep 1894 – 14 Nov 1974). Pioneering farmer of the Keith district and Member of the Legislative Council of South Australia from 1944 to 1967.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Keith (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Keith (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11 
  4. ^ Full Points Footy, Kowree-Naracoorte-Tatiara, retrieved 2008-07-25 
  5. ^ "Keith, South Australia January 2014 Daily Weather Observations". Daily Summaries. Australian Bureau of Meteorology. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Keith, South Australia February 2014 Daily Weather Observations". Daily Summaries. Australian Bureau of Meteorology. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Keith". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "James Darling". Australian-Art-Gallery.com. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  9. ^ STATISTICAL RECORD OF THE LEGISLATURE 1836 - 2007 (PDF) (Report). Parliament of South Australia. pp. 31–34. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 

External links[edit]