By BRENDAN CUSACK
CAPTIONS: The Anderson Meat Packing Company opened in 1935 and grew to more than 400 workers before it was closed in 1981.
FOR almost 50 years, from 1935 to its closure in 1981, Anderson Meat Packing Company at Wallangarra was one of the major industries in the district, providing employment for more than 400 workers from Tenterfield to Stanthorpe and beyond.
After its closure in 1981, former employees were faced with agonising decisions.
Many left the district, found similar employment at other meatworks, or ventured into alternative occupations. Others opted to remain in the local area and take their chances on home soil.
Over the years, despite settling throughout the country, most former employees have retained some connection with Wallangarra, and many have made the trip back to this small Border town to renew old acquaintances and inspect the site of their former labours.
The notion of an organised reunion of Anderson Meatworks employees has arisen on a number of occasions, but was never acted on.
However, at a meeting organised by the Wallangarra Jennings Progress Association last Sunday, it was unanimously decided to proceed with the proposed Anderson Wallangarra Meatworks Reunion.
The event will be held on the Australia Day weekend next year, 25-27 January.
At this stage, it is proposed to hold the event over the Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with details of functions and events to be released in the near future.
Members of the committee have spoken to members of the Anderson family, who live in Sydney. They have indicated their whole-hearted support for the idea of a reunion, and their intention of attending the celebrations.
Another major event which will take place during this weekend will be the launch of a book on the history of Anderson Meatworks by Mrs Dot Moore, the widow of Ron Moore, a long-time manager with the company.
Dot has invested considerable time and effort into the compilation of this interesting and informative publication, and we feel sure it will be eagerly awaited by anyone involved with the Anderson operation and Wallangarra.
The celebrations will be open not only to former employees of the company, but to anyone who was associated in any way with this industry.
They include graziers who supplied stock, transport operators and their drivers who carted stock, supplies or produce to or from the meatworks, cattle buyers and anyone else involved with the company during its years of operation.
Anyone wishing to attend the reunion, or requiring further information, can contact Brendan Cusack on 07 4684 3300 or 0408 843 300 or firstname.lastname@example.org