SWEET FAREWELL: Colin Webb had mixed emotions on his last day at Bundaberg Sugar's Millaquin Mill, after almost 50 years of service.
SWEET FAREWELL: Colin Webb had mixed emotions on his last day at Bundaberg Sugar's Millaquin Mill, after almost 50 years of service. TAHLIA STEHBENS

Retiree leaves his first and only job 49 years later

AS COLIN Webb travelled up the driveway of the Millequin Mill for the final time yesterday, the last thing he expected was to become emotional.

Mr Webb was born and raised in Bundaberg and has worked at the sugar mill for more than 49 years.

"I've got mixed feelings, I've been here for so long now," he said.

"This was my first and only job straight out of school.

"The tool cupboard I was given down in the boiler shop, I've had that cupboard since my apprenticeship.

"Through the week I cleaned it out and took the lock off it... and I stood back and looked at it and thought, there you go, that's the last time I'll close that cupboard."

Mr Webb was 16 when he started and he's seen a myriad of changes.

"Computerisation and mechanisation has changed the way this place operates," he said.

"From whole stick cane that was hauled in by rope - right through the whole mill you'd see people everywhere - but now it's just automatic."

 

Sugar, it seems, is in the family blood.

"My father was out at Qunaba as an engineer, my brother was a fitter here, I was a boilermaker here, my daughter worked here for a while in the lab, my son worked on the carriage for a while, and my grandfather started at Bingera," he said.

The new retiree is looking forward to travel in his caravan - his first stop will be the Tamworth Country Music Festival.



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