Two centuries of experience at the Mossman mill
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