Hans Tracksdorf migrated from Germany to Australia moving first to Ballarat then Maryborough and on to Bendigo. In Bendigo Hans lived in Eaglehawk until he was 23. He learned English quickly as a child and “mixed in pretty good”. Hans thinks that, “It was easier for European migrants.”
He grew up in Brazier Street, “running around in the sand hills” and “where there was no television and the swimming pools (apart from the Aquatic Centre) were filled with dirty water. There were no lifeguards or anything like that.”
At Eaglehawk Primary School boys and girls were not allowed to play with each other in the playground.
He remembers getting a tram to/ from Bendigo to Eaglehawk. “If you were playing footy against, say Violet Street Primary, the teacher would load you all on the tram, you’d play the game and catch the tram back to school again.”
Hans says that when he lived in Eaglehawk it was a working class suburb. The town is now bigger with more facilities. The mullock heaps have disappeared too!
Hans did his “advanced education” in engineering. Later he attended night school to study town planning.
Hans now works for the City of Greater Bendigo as a building surveyor. His job involves many things including checking gates and fences or fire damaged and dangerous walls and buildings to make sure risks are minimised. For example that people are protected from the threat of buildings collapsing or possibly drowning in a pool.
One of the hobbies that Hans developed while in Eaglehawk was hiking and camping and this interest has now taken him all over the world. Hans’ latest trek was to Mt Feathertop in Victoria.
Hans said, “I’m really grateful for this start. This all started off with the scouts in Eaglehawk…with cubs when I was about nine years of age…so I have Eaglehawk to thank for that.”
Hans said, “it is interesting that some of the things you’re interested in as a kid follow you through life.”