Two cen­turies of ex­pe­ri­ence at the Moss­man mill

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

SEVEN Moss­man mill em­ploy­ees have notched up 264 years of ser­vice be­tween them with the long­est-serv­ing mem­ber hav­ing worked 43 years for the com­pany.

Martin Har­ris, who is an elec­tri­cian, be­gan work­ing for the mill on Jan­uary 19, 1970, as an ap­pren­tice and has been with the com­pany ever since.

Other work­ers who have “done their time” in­clude Gra­ham But­land, who has chalked up 42 years af­ter start­ing in the lab as a chemist and is now the op­er­a­tions man­ager; Stan Wright, 38 years as a boil­er­maker; Greg Bald­win, 37 years as an elec­tri­cian; Lewis “Louie” Sci­acca, 36 years and the process su­per­vi­sor; Steve Danks, 35 years as a boiler op­er­a­tor and Jim Malone, 35 years, who is a boil­er­maker.

Gra­ham But­land spoke of the days of when he went to su­gar school at the TAFE in Mackay for study dur­ing his ap­pren­tice­ship for five months at a time and then re­turned to the Moss­man mill to work dur­ing the crush­ing sea­son, and how he lived in the sin­gle men’s quar­ters or the bar­racks as they were called back then.

“There were al­ways chal­lenges, and there was al­ways some­thing to do and even though it’s been hard at times it has been a good life­style,” Gra­ham said.

“I hope it con­tin­ues for a while yet but ev­ery­thing is de­pen­dent on your health and so down the track I hope I’m fit and well.

“But it has been a good life for me and I en­joyed those early years when I first started out as an ap­pren­tice and liv­ing in the bar­racks - it was very in­ter­est­ing.

“And to­day, where the Bally Hoo­ley train sta­tion is lo­cated at the Port Dou­glas Marina it used to be one of the sets of bar­racks that housed up to 100 men dur­ing the har­vest sea­son.”

Asked why the men had lasted this long at their jobs, they all agreed it was be­cause they were “a tough bunch of blokes who weren’t fright­ened to just get on with it.”

CHEERS: Long-serv­ing Moss­man Mill em­ploy­ees (from left) Stan Wright, Greg Bald­win, Jim Malone, Louie Sci­acca, Gra­ham But­land and Steve Danks

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