In 1932 my Great Grandfather, Errol Chamberlain left his everyday job after being told his health was inadequate to continue. Errol’s life then went pear shaped as he started planting a pear orchard soon to be trading as ‘Chamberlain Orchards’ on a block of land in Paracombe, South Australia shortly after. Till this day, Chamberlain Orchards is still trading and those first pear trees that Errol planted in Paracombe are still producing fruit for the fresh fruit market.
Ron Chamberlain, Errol’s son grew up on the family orchard. Ron was the second generation pear grower and was an industry leader in his time. Ron won many awards at the Royal Adelaide Show for our pears and generated processes that we still use to this day to prolong the life and quality of the fruit we produce.
In 1985 John McArdle started working at Chamberlain Orchards after earlier days as a share farmer. John married Ron’s daughter Julie and together brought up their three kids on the 50 acre Paracombe pear property. John spent a lot of time modernising the pear orchard and planting new plantations to help take our pear production to an average of 375,000kg per year. I once asked dad if he enjoyed the orchard life, his reply was ‘I’m not sure. I have been wondering if I enjoy it for the past 25 years.’ It can’t be too bad dad!
In 2010 Damian returned home to Paracombe to manage the family pear orchard full time after completing his trade as a diesel mechanic. Damian and his wife Amelia have spent countless hours looking to diversify the family’s pear business and cement the years to come for many more generations. Damian established Paracombe Premium Perry in 2012, on the 80th anniversary of their families business ‘Chamberlain Orchards’.