A change of shift for the crew at the mill
Gary’s last week working before retirement:
HIS career at the Isis Sugar Mill has spanned two centuries, starting back in 1973 as an apprentice electrician, Gary Lamb is now planning his future retirement in under a week.
Shortly after finishing his apprenticeship in 1977 he packed up his tool belt and headed to Gladstone only to return a few years later as a married man.
Mr Lamb returned to the Mill in 1980 and started as a shift electrician and over the decades progressed through the company to become shift supervisor in 1999.
For 16-years Mr Lamb was a fair but stern supervisor and well respected by his co-workers.
Work mates gathered at Wayne Dixon’s property in Cordalba last Tuesday to farewell a great friend and to thank him for all he has done over the years.
In 1992, a horrific fire engulfed the mill and seriously injured Mr Lamb, he had 25 per cent burns to both his arms and face.
His wife Robyn can clearly remember the day of the fire even recalling what she had for tea that evening, the mill fire is still a fresh memory and Gary, to this day carries the scars of an incident that almost cost him his life.
With countless surgeries and rehabilitation Mr Lamb was back at work within six months of the accident.
Mr Dixon took it upon himself to organise the surprise get-together to celebrate the career of a friend and work college.
Presenting Mr Lamb with a hand-crafted plaque, Mr Dixon said he has known Gary for around 30-years when they worked on shift together.
“On behalf of all the past and present crew members, about 150 of them, it’s been great working with you,” Mr Dixon said.
“You have been a hard task master but fair, you may have gotten a few people off side but when they got to know you Gary, they realised you where there to help.”
Mr Lamb stood before his crew and spoke from the heart about the crew’s he had worked with over the years.
“It’s been great, you get attached to shift crews, believe it or not and they become a tight-knit group of people.
“It was a real pleasure to work with you and I thank you all,” Mr Lamb said.
Mrs Lamb said her husband had no idea the mill crew had organised the gathering.
“Our plan for retirement is to do some travelling and to focus on our cattle,” she said.
Making fun of her husband and laughing at the thought of becoming a grey nomad, Robyn said she has arranged for Gary to go to daycare at the mill when she needs time to herself.
“It’s a new adventure for us both and we are looking forward to the next chapter,” she said.
With big shoes to fill, Moussa Bayad is set to take on the role as the new shift supervisor for Crew 2.
Mr Bayad said the crew have made him feel welcome from the start and is excited with his new position.
“I congratulate Gary on his retirement and I wish him well,” Mr Bayad said.
Now that the cane crush is in full swing, Gary and Robyn are counting down the day shifts before he hangs up his high-viz shirt forever.
Gary’s Crew 2 wish him all the best in his retirement.
MILL CREW: Work mates farewell Gary Lamb as he retires from the Isis Central Mill.
CRACK OF THE WHIP: Wayne Dixon congratulates Gary Lamb on his retirement.
Gary and Robyn Lamb are ready to hit the road in their caravan.
Gary Lamb with his replacement Moussa Bayad.