Mick’s final farewell

Michael Wood, one of SEFE’s first apprentice intakes, finishes up with the chip mill on Thursday.

Michael Wood, one of SEFE’s first apprentice intakes, finishes up with the chip mill on Thursday.

After 40 years of dedicated service, Michael Wood is retiring from South East Fibre Exports.

Mr Wood was a part of the first apprentice group to join the mill in 1974 and remembered when 140 to 150 employees battled to produce 800 ton of wood per shift.

“There were three shifts a day,” he said.

“1980 and the early 90s were the good years.  

“1996 saw big changes which included major restructuring of the workforce when numbers were reduced dramatically.”

Mr Wood recalled further changes in 2011 when the company was restructured and just 40 employees produced around 2500 tonnes a day.

Mr Wood said having gone through so much with his colleagues, leaving the mill was like leaving family.

“Yes, it is a bit emotional,” he said.

“As a matter of interest, I put the first log through the chipper in February ’75 or ’76 before the mill was completed”. 

Mr Wood wished the company the best in the future, knowing things were tough.

“Hang in there,” he said.

“Eden needs you more than a lot of people realise.

“[South East Fibre Exports] have been a good employer.”

Mr Woods had a farewell with friends, family and colleagues at the mill and said generally over the years the staff had been pretty good to work with.

“There have been some characters go through over that time,” he said.

Mr Wood will work his final day on Thursday, July 31.

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