A change of shift for the crew at the mill

Gary’s last week work­ing be­fore re­tire­ment:

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - Jodie Dixon Jodie.Dixon@isistc­news.com.au

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.

PHOTO: JODIE DIXONBIT120716LAMB01

MILL CREW: Work mates farewell Gary Lamb as he re­tires from the Isis Cen­tral Mill.

PHO­TOS: JODIE DIXONBIT120716LAMB04

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.

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