Home Hill News

Joe’s Project 50 years in the making

Cane Farmer Joe Rigano and his new town map

A PROJECT that was commenced up to 50 years ago is being given a new lease of life as its instigator, cane farmer Joe Rigano works on resurrecting the monument to the sugar industry that he first considered when he was a charter member of the former Home Hill Apex Club. 

We photographed Mr Rigano in the process of upgrading the monument in front of a former service station now occupied by local business, A. & K. Mechanical opposite Lloyd Mann Gardens.

Joe Rigano said he had first raised the project when he joined the town’s new Apex Club and became the inaugural Community Service Director.

One of his first projects was to create and install a town map for the benefit of tourists and locals, which was completed and installed in the small triangular park opposite Ashworth’s Rock Shop. 

However, about three months after its installation, he said he received a late-night phone call to go and have a look at his sign. 

When he did so, he found it had been smashed beyond recognition and spread many metres down the highway through town by what was believed to have been a semi-trailer.

Since then, he constructed a tall replica of a stick of sugar cane which has been in place for several decades. 

Mr Rigano is now in the pro- cess of resurrecting his original idea, with the town map now in place as a more solid construction and should it be hit by anything, it is more likely to cause significant damage to the perpetrator. 

The back of the map carries a reminder of some of the early tools used by our pioneers, including replicas of a stick of dynamite and a Fosters Beer bottle joining the tools of that era. 

While the map is almost complete, the stick of cane will disappear for a while it is upgraded and will be brought back and in- stalled in the same position. 

He will keep an eye on the progress and will highlight its new look when the work is completed. 

Hand tools used by the district pioneers to settle in the Burdekin
Hand tools used by the district pioneers to settle in the Burdekin