Archive for the ‘Our History…’ Category

Cyclones and floods in the Hinchinbrook Shire since ’92’…

Posted by Amy Aquilini
Video by Drone Guy – YouTube

I was born in 1992, since then, there have been 6 or 7 disaster events in the Herbert River District – being either a flood or cyclone. We have little tornados here, but their little wirley winds in cane paddocks once the cane has just been cut, but their not actually major disasters… Until it blows crap in your eye! Am I right!

Growing up, there was nothing more exciting being at school on days when it starts to flood – when the kids who go on the busses get to go early – First Abergowrie and Mutarnee kids, then all the beach kids – Taylor’s Beach, Halifax, Lucinda and Forrest Beach kids, than the kids whose parents pick them up in the same order.

Cattle Creek bridge – photo off

I was one of the last kids at school as we lived just out of town, on the south side of Ingham. The kids these days wouldn’t be able to get up to half the stuff our generation got away with. Riding motorbikes & quad bikes, driving cars and tractors up the highway as the highway is cut at Andy’s Roadhouse and Cattle Creek. It was the most exciting thing ever.

United Servo beside Honeycombs – Photo off

I don’t think many kids understand how serious it could be, Cyclone Yasi in early 2011 was nothing compared to the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami – Not one, but two natural disasters in one hit! Those poor bastards! Yasi was a party compared to that. The story goes that a magnitude-9.3 temblor struck undersea off the west coast of Sumatra on December 26, 2004, creating a massive tsunami that killed people in 14 separate countries. The death toll is said to be somewhere between 230,000 and 280,000 people. I can’t even be able to think about something like that happening here.

Click here to check out the top 11 deadly natural disasters in history…

Welcome to Ingham sign on Townsville Rd – Photo off

There’s nothing like a good ‘safe’ flood party, where all the people in your area get together at a chosen house, kids play on their toys and stay up until they drop – literally. The adults drink till their heart’s content or until they are up on the table singing! Hey! there’s nothing wrong with that… Don’t judge if you haven’t tried it and don’t judge if you have! Because you know it’s awesome being the life of the party… That outgoing soul who’s hopefully here for a long time and they’re here for a good time!

Halifax bridge – Photo off

The drive through and BWS must love that time just after a flood warning has been issued… I swear they would sell as much as they sell in six months if more! Make sure you go to woolies first but… there may or may not be any bread or milk. I’ve only lived in the center of town for one flood, I don’t know which I like better. We ended up at our neighbours and I had a ball! I guess you just need a good atmosphere surrounding you, a carton of Northerns and some country music! – Like the Spotify playlist Chillin’ on a dirt road…

In our district, it’s not unheard of for people who live near creeks or waterways, or anywhere really, to come across a crocodile or two! They are everywhere now! But… that’s another discussion – an anger fueled discussion we will have on a later date.

Video by Gaia Deliciosas – YouTube

Ingham’s the sort of place where the world stops… not often, but when it floods we reset. Businesses close down as many business people A break from work, you become a more laid back parent, you become lighter.

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How sugar cane grows and how much fun growing up on a cane farm is…

Posted by Amy Aquilini
Video by Farming Media – YouTube

In our house – our big boy when he turned one would carry on until we turned harvesting videos on and he would sit on one of his tractors or his harvester and would not move! Probably the reason why he drove nonno’s harvester last season. Dad was playing around with his GPS – next minute the harvester started moving. It was hilarious! Our German Au Pairs were amazed how he could tell them exactly what was happening and what everything is.

Sugarcane has been my life – since the day I popped out. Essentially sugar cane is the main industry that fuels our town. I’ve recently been researching the production process and things like that… I’ve got an idea, but I can’t explain it – so I teach myself, the internet is the most powerful tool in the world you just need to know what you’re looking for.

sugarcane is a tall tropical perennial grass that grows to between 2-4m high. It’s used to make heaps of different processed foods, drinks and things like molasses and golden syrup. The biofuel ethanol can also be produced from sugarcane which can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form but is usually blended with gasoline to improve vehicle emissions.

Sugar cane has heaps of nicknames like sugar bush, sticks, there are so many different things we call it. Sugar cane needs 1.5 m of rainfall each year if not more or access to irrigation to survive. Sugar is made in the leaves of the sugarcane plant through a natural process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis occurs when a plant, using energy from the sun, transforms carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H20) into oxygen (02) and glucose (sugar).

The plant absorbs water through its roots and oxygen from the air through the pores in its leaves. Sugar is created when this process is combined with the help of a substance called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is green and gives plants their colour. It allows plants to absorb the sun’s energy more readily. In the same way that animals store fat, the sugarcane plant stores energy that is doesn’t need. This extra energy is sugar and it is stored as sweet juice in the plants’ stalks.

When ripe, sugarcane stalks are harvested (the fun part!) and taken to a sugar mill and converted into raw sugar. In the Herbert River district we have two sugar mills – Victoria and Macknade Mill. Victoria mill produced 3330 million tonnes of sugar in 2007 being the mill that produced the largest amount of sugar in Queensland.

In Australia, sugarcane can be seen growing along 2,100 kilometers of coastline between Mossman in far north Queensland and Grafton in northern New South Wales. Because of their proximity, many cane growing families spend their weekends outdoors riding motor bikes/quads and fishing. Cane growers go out of their way to manage the land so it is still in excellent condition for their children and grandchildren to enjoy for many generations to come.

I miss the days were we would burn cane in the Herbert. Black snow (ash) everywhere! I still remember the smell… I wouldn’t let mum wash my shirt for a week after it… #Farm kid. There is nothing better than growing up on a farm! I remember finishing my homework so quick so I could go mowing, ride the quad bikes/motorbikes or go and chat to dad in the shed. I remember my old headland bomb – cheers uncle Micky! My cousins and siblings helped me paint it – I strolled off to the shed – noone there, it’s all good, a drum of John Deere green paint, i’ll take that! We painted it with rollers and ended up banging it up pretty bad.

I can’t remember if I got away with murder or I just didn’t listen… You know – a regular teenager! I made friends with the kids that lived out my way and we used to run amuck. I remember one had a go kart OMG – so. much. FUN. Dad still has the same quad that we have had since 1997 – It’s never been rebuilt and it still has the original tires. I don’t know how it’s still alive – we flogged that thing… Good ole Honda.

Here are some of my favourite photos:-

My nonno (Jack Aquilini) back in the day with a python he killed – Photo by Beattie Aquilini
My nonno – Photo by Beattie Aquilini
My Nonno & Dad down in the Burdekin – Photo by Beattie Aquilini
Dad & Douggie – Photo by Beattie Aquilini
Cane fire south of Ingham – Photo by Beattie Aquilini
When the Maxis first came on the scene – Photo by Beattie Aquilini
When the Maxihauls were new and dad still had the ’97’ Cameco ‘Pac man 2’ – Photo by Beattie Aquilini
The transporter ‘Fat Boy’ in action – Photo by Beattie Aquilini
One of the days I went hauling back in 2012 – Photo by Amy Aquilini
Dad ‘Big Al’ – Photo by Amy Aquilini
During my recovery, this is where I loved to be – with my daddy! – Photo by Amy Aquilini
Sunrise at our farm – Photo by Amy Aquilini
My sister-in-law Katy Irvin and I at the field day – Photo by Allen Aquilini
John, Andrew & Jack and Allen & Amy Aquilini, Irvin – Photo by Amy Aquilini
The day my boy drove the harvester – Photo by Amy Aquilini
Our wedding day – Photo by Rachelle Angela
It’s in our blood – Photo by Andrew Irvin
My big boy and I – Photo by Amy Aquilini

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