Cane crush... sweet
Mossman mill fifires up the boilers Cross dressing Crocs set to hit runway
HARVESTERS were out before dawn on Tuesday cutting the Douglas region’s first load of sugar cane of the season while mill bosses prayed the threatening skies would not dump any rain.
“If any rain fell now it would be a nightmare for us,” the field and transport manager Craig Butland said.
“The cane is pretty sturdy but any heavy rain is certainly unwanted because it would mean the machinery would not be able to get into the fields and would only delay the harvest which is something we certainly don’t need.”
But within a matter of hours the first sugar train pulled into Mackay Sugar’s Mossman Mill where the first 40-tonne bin of billets were tipped into the hopper to begin its journey along the conveyor belt and into the boiler.
Mr Butland said from that point sugar is extracted from the billets and once it’s decided what type of sugar will be produced, such as low GI, it then continues on to a second boiler to complete the process.
As reported in last week’s Gazette, police have warned motorists to be aware of cane train and cane bin trucks increased presence in the region until the crush is completed toward the end of the year. MEN have loved to dress-up as women since the beginning of time and to celebrate this tradition: Crocs in Frocks is back.
The annual AFL cross-dressing event is on this Saturday night and competition is fierce with a new bathing-suit entry sure to please the crowd.
“This is the big one,” Croc’s president Andy Smith said.
“Entrants in the Crocs in Frocks beauty pageant will come out in formal wear to music of their choice and will then be asked questions.”
“They will go away and come back in swimsuits and answer more questions and there will be lady judges who will score them on their attire, posture and their sexiness,” he said.
“There’s going to be jelly shooters, heaps of giveaways and raffles during the night and food available.”
Money raised goes back to the Crocs club, but Smith said this is not the real reason why the AFL players get dressed up as Crocs in Frocks.
“Since Jesus started playing dress-ups in Jerusalem the tradition has been passed down and the fact is men do love to dress up as women,” he said.
“This weekend we’re going to give them an opportunity to shows us what they have got, it’s a bit of fun and if we do well this year I might talk to other sporting clubs who I’m sure like to dress up as well and we might even have a Miss Port Douglas in Frocks.
“They could travel anywhere in the world to the finals - it could be bigger than the Beatles.”
The festivities kick off at 2pm with a Ladies Day - for real women not the Crocs’ versions - tickets cost $25 and include three glasses of champagne, lunch donated by the Port BBQ Chickens and a show bag of goodies. And then at 7pm the search is on for the new Miss Crocs in Frocks 2012.
The Crocs also play this Saturday at the Croc pit at the Port Douglas oval.
Contact Andy Smith for Ladies Day tickets on 0408 985 372.
Sweet chariots: Joe Raldini operates the cane harvester as Shane Cavallaro drives his truck beside the harvester collecting the sugar billets.
Tender moment: Maxine Mannderley and Ryena Wornetta Photo by NEIL WEAVERS