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Jenkin Keith Edward

From Mallala
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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1935
Place of birth Gawler South Australia
Principal occupation Farming
Date of death 2016
Place of decease Hamley Bridge Memorial Hospital

KEITH Jenkin was born on November 6, 1935, at Gawler Hospital to parents Elizabeth and Ronald Jenkin. Keith, his older sister, Bette, and younger sister, Yvonne, lived with their parents on the family farm at Mallala. From his very early years, Keith had a love of animals, especially sheep and dogs, a love he carried throughout his life. He also loved horses and was a competent rider at an early age. Keith attended Mallala Primary School and then continued his secondary education at Prince Alfred College in Adelaide where he also boarded. However when he was in his third year there, his mother became unwell and help was required home on the farm, so Keith returned to help for what was meant to be short term. Instead he ended up staying home to work with his father and a workman, thus beginning his life as a fourth generation Jenkin farmer. He helped milk cows, and worked with cattle and his favourite animals – sheep! While Keith loved farming, over the years it was said growing crops was “something he did when he wasn’t working sheep!” He was passionate about his sheep, always droving and checking them, making sure they were well fed and well presented at sale times. Keith played lots of sport while he was growing up, especially tennis and football. He played in many football premiership wins, including the 1953 win over Long Plains by three points – the first premiership in 28 years. Keith, wearing number 8, played his 200th game in 1966, followed by a B grade premiership the following year before retiring. Keith also played tennis for Mallala, enjoying both competitive and social matches. He was a regular church go-er too, and was noted to have a nice singing voice! While Keith and local girl, Rosemary Roberts, had known each other for years and had had a short romance some years earlier, the romance blossomed again later, and in January 1959, married in the then Methodist (Uniting) Church. They lived in the family homestead and Keith’s parents moved into another home on a property the family had just purchased. In 1961, Keith and Rosemary welcomed their daughter Alison to the family, followed in 1964 by Timothy, and finally Ian in 1967. Keith was a patient father who had a keen interest in the lives of his children, and later grandchildren, always generous with praise and encouragement. He taught the children to swim, water ski and play sport and was always “on the go.”

While the children were growing up, Keith preferred to serve “behind the scenes” in various community groups, but did a stint as Chairman of the School Committee, serving at the time of the school centenary which, after a few nervous moments, resulted in a wonderful celebration. Keith was always interested in the Ag Bureau, becoming a life member, and was also treasurer for a few years. He was also on the institute committee for many years, and much to his horror, ended up performing in numerous musical shows the committee staged. When the boys left school, they went home to work with Keith and his workman, Tony Rawlings. And when his children grew up and married and grandchildren arrived, Keith was the doting grandpa, spending many hours with them, watching their sports and musical performances over many years. Keith was known as the ultimate cake tester and loved anything that was cooked for him. Over the years, Keith and Rosemary and the family holidayed at Port Elliot, and in 1994, purchased a holiday house there, and had great pleasure taking the grandchildren there regularly. Rosemary and Keith enjoyed travelling and visited places all across Australia including outback camping trips across the Simpson Desert, and also went overseas on a Farmers Tour to Calgary in Canada. After Keith retired from football and tennis, he took up lawn bowls and golf, enjoying both the fellowship and the games. He played golf at Owen and then Balaklava, and was also a country member at Victor Harbor for more than 30 years. With Rosemary also a keen golfer, they enjoyed golfing holidays together in SA and along the River Murray. Being a keen golfer, Keith’s father couldn’t believe it when Keith sprayed out a practise fairway in a good medic pasture and then placed drum markers every 50 metres from 50 to 200 metres! At this time, Keith had a sheepdog named Bert, who soon became known as a golfdog, as he sat at the drum Keith was supposed to be aiming at with a certain stick. In his latter years, Keith’s health deteriorated with the onset of Parkinson’s Disease. Keith gained residency at Hamley Bridge Memorial Hospital last year, and was wonderfully cared for by the staff there. Sadly Keith, a loyal brother, devoted husband, the “best dad ever” and a wonderful pa, passed away in hospital on June 1st 2016. Loved by his family and friends, and his last dog, Digger, Keith has gone to check the sheep, one last time.


  • Information from the Jenkin family. Compiled and published by Louise Michael The Plains Producer.
Keith Edward Jenkin
Keith Edward Jenkin
Keith Edward Jenkin1
Keith Edward Jenkin1

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