Pipeline named in honour of 'dependable' Monarto resident

For 40 years he guaranteed his neighbours a reliable water supply. Now Max Paech's work will forever be remembered.

Paech family members including Max and Doris Klenke, Mark and Tamara Wohlfeil, Maxine, Sally and Craig Paech and Allie Toft gather around a plaque dedicated to Max. Photo: Monarto Water Network.

For 40 years, the late Max Paech was personally responsible for making sure the Monarto area had a reliable water supply.

Now his legacy will live on – the pipeline he maintained for so long will now bear his name.

The Monarto Water Network held a ceremony late last year to officially name the Max Paech Pipeline, and to celebrate the life of a faithful servant to his community.

Farmer Robert Thiele said his life-long friend had always been dedicated to the job of maintaining the pipeline.

“Over the years there have been many changes in Monarto, but Max was always dependable,” he said.

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

Mr Paech lived at Monarto from his birth on February 2, 1943 to his death on August 1, 2019, farming, raising a family, attending Zion Lutheran Church and, since the 1990s, barracking for the Adelaide Crows.

His daughter Alison often helped him read meters, look out for leaks and undertake repairs.

She was one of many family members present for the unveiling of a plaque alongside the pipeline at Frahn’s Farm on November 29.

Mr Paech’s widow Maxine was also there, along with their other children, Craig and Tamara, Mr Paech’s sister Doris and brother-in-law Max Klenke; plus Monarto Water Network chair Nina Betts.

Monarto Water Network committee members Lindsay Burns, Phil Carr, Laurice Braithwaite, Airlie Keen, Nina Betts and Robert Thiele gather around the plaque. Photo: Monarto Water Network.

Community organisation delivers the wet stuff to Monarto

Unlike many other communities, Monarto never enjoyed the security of an SA Water owned and operated water supply.

A water main was built in the area in 1973 as part of the state government’s doomed Monarto city plan.

But when the Monarto Development Commission ceased operating, the pipe was taken over by what is now the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing; then the Aboriginal Sobriety Group, which operates a rehabilitation facility in the area.

Residents then banded together to establish a community-run water scheme in 2016.

The owners of more than 30 properties, responsible for several thousand head of sheep and other animals, had feared having their taps turned off at short notice without a specialist organisation capable of maintaining the local water supply.


You can help keep local stories like this one free for everyone to read. Subscribe to Murray Bridge News today and support your locally owned news outlet, plus get access to exclusive stories you won’t find anywhere else, for just $5.50 a month.