Young chef’s am­bi­tion brought a bet­ter life

Myrtleford Times - - News -

WORK ETHIC: Her­bie Krom­bach em­i­grated from Ger­many to Aus­tralia where he pur­sued his ca­reer as a chef. worker, and by the time he saw and fell in love with Sydney his first child was on the way.

Son Peter was born in 1955 and the fam­ily then mi­grated to Aus­tralia.

Bonegilla Mi­grant Camp near Wodonga be­came home for a short pe­riod, but Mr Krom­bach had se­cured a post as head chef at the Univer­sity of Mel­bourne’s Or­mond Col­lege, and the young fam­ily moved to Parkville where daugh­ter Monika was born.

Un­for­tu­nately his first mar­riage was not a long-term suc­cess, and he di­vorced and re-mar­ried, this time be­com­ing fa­ther to two more daugh­ters, Janet and Pe­tra, be­fore his sec­ond mar­riage also ended.

Mr Krom­bach’s third mar­riage to Marlise was a suc­cess and she brought her three chil­dren, Bernie, Beate and Peter, into what be­came their ex­tended fam­ily.

The next big change came about with the de­ci­sion to leave Mel­bourne to live in the Victorian high coun­try, and for the next nine years the Krom­bachs man­aged the Blue Duck Ho­tel at An­glers Rest.

It was here that Mr Krom- bach, with the help of fam­ily and friends, con­structed a se­ries of mo­tel units and a stone bar­be­cue.

About 1984 the fam­ily moved to a farm block in the Bun­darra val­ley, where My Krom­bach showed en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness ahead of his time by in­stalling wa­ter­pow­ered pumps and so­lar en­ergy pan­els.

For 14 years he worked week on week off as night-shift chef on Bass Strait oil rigs, com­ing home to work the farm in his leave weeks.

The next move was to a block on the Omeo High­way, where the Krom­bachs built a house and es­tab­lished a flour­ish­ing veg­etable gar­den, also us­ing so­lar and wa­ter en­ergy sources.

By the late 1990s Mr Krom­bach was suf­fer­ing from heart trou­ble and mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion, which slowed his ac­tive life­style, and in 2001 the cou­ple moved to Ta­wonga South, where he turned his cook­ing skills to bak­ing for the Mt Beauty Men’s Shed.

Mr Krom­bach is sur­vived by Marlise, his four chil­dren, three stepchil­dren and seven grand­chil­dren.

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