Terry's sweet return to a crushing passion
WHILE another crushing season is upon us, Terry Doolan is crushed it'll be his last.
He's retiring after 30 years of service.
"I'm going to miss it. There is no doubt I'll miss it, but I always said I'll retire when I'm 62. I'm 62 this year," he said.
For the past 30 years, Mr Doolan has chopped, changed and moved about sugar mills, only to return after pausing his passion, to pursue dairy farming.
"I had no intention of coming back, but I had a passion for the sugar industry," he said.
"A mate of mine at (the) Racecourse (Mill) rang me up and said he was moving to Farleigh... He needed a fitter and turner."
Starting his apprenticeship in 1970, the sugar-enthusiast worked his way up the ladder. "My father was in the industry for probably 40 years and retired in 1982. My uncles were in it, my brother was in it, my sons all did their time," he said.
"Getting an apprenticeship at Pleystowe Mill was the best thing that had ever happened to me.
"It set up my career, my whole life."
Now, he'll mentor another for the next 12 months.
Before he leaves, he is still reminding residents this year's crushing has already begun.
He's calling for safer driving around cane train tracks.
For the next 22 weeks, one of six mills will power through every hour, of every day, to produce at least 1.58 million tonnes of sugar.
"We sometimes have three near misses a week. It's scary stuff," he said.
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