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Mackay Sugar boilermaker hangs up hard hat after 49 years

After 49 years Mackay Sugar boilermaker Kevin Sehl, at work at Racecourse Mill, is retiring.
After 49 years Mackay Sugar boilermaker Kevin Sehl, at work at Racecourse Mill, is retiring. Peter Holt

MACKAY Sugar Racecourse Mill boilermaker Kevin Sehl will retire after 49 years with the company and is already looking forward to taking a break.

Mr Sehl said although he loves his work he is now ready to leave Mackay Sugar.

"I love my work," Mr Sehl said. "I enjoy making things; it's a different field in fabrication.

"It's a very good learning trade here at Mackay Sugar.

"You've got that many different aspects. You do pipe work and we even go and do maintenance work at other mills.

"It's a big variety of work."

Mr Sehl said part of his work has been spending time with the company's apprentices.

"I usually teach a lot of the apprentices," he said. "I've seen a lot of apprentices go through the place and I've been indirectly with them."

He said he was fortunate enough to be given his start with Mackay Sugar all those years ago.

"I started as a lab boy then the chief chemist, I asked if I could get an apprenticeship and I was lucky to get one," Mr Sehl said.

"But I'll miss the mateship and the teamwork. I'll miss all the people. You see everyone nearly every day."

Although he may be retiring Mr Sehl has no plans to slow down just yet.

"I've booked a cruise for Fiji for 10 days in February," he said. "Then we'll probably hope to go to Europe for three months.

"We went over there last year for just over a month but it wasn't long enough.

"We'll spend a month in Ireland; it's a very nice country Ireland."

Mr Sehl has already had a send off where he received a trophy for his dedication to his work.

Topics:  boilermaker milestones retirement trades