Narrow the stories:
Stories currently narrowed to the year 1935.
Click here to show stories for all years
- click on a year
- click on a type of place
Seasons in the sugar industry (1935)
contributed by kelso
(contact kelso about this story)
Sugar cane, in some areas, has the benefit of irrigation (which applied to the farms in the Ayr district), where Kalamia Mill was situated. Other areas have to depend on rainfall, with obvious effects on the quality of the cane.
In the Ayr district, cane was normally planted in about April for harvesting in the second half of the following year. Mills, therefore, were active in crushing the cane between the months of June and December, normally. That period was known as the crushing season, and the remainder of the year was the slack season.
This of course had serious consequences for the mill workers, other than those who were tradesmen or had other jobs which were not dependent on the crushing. Those who were involved in the crushing operations (normally shift workers) would often be lucky to obtain work from the mill for more than a month in the slack, and might, with luck, obtain about another month of work on the farms assisting with the planting. Thus, unemployment relief was important, and workers contributed from each pay towards an unemployment insurance scheme conducted by the State government.
I can remember seeing those hoping for some work in the slack sitting on the ground in the sun near the Mill office, waiting for the Mill Manager to arrive and select a few for work that day. The others would just have to bicycle home again, disappointed - and try again later.
This story was uploaded into the Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia entry for the Locality 'Kalamia Sugar Mill'.
- add a story about Kalamia Sugar Mill: click here to add a story about Kalamia Sugar Mill
- info about Kalamia Sugar Mill: click here for the Bonzle entry on Kalamia Sugar Mill (open in new window)
- map of Kalamia Sugar Mill: click here for the Bonzle map of Kalamia Sugar Mill (open in new window)
- pictures of Kalamia Sugar Mill: click here for pictures of Kalamia Sugar Mill (open in new window)