Labelling cans in the SPC (Shepparton Preserving Company) factory. By the style of dress I'm thinking that this would be the 1950s.
I would love to hear oral histories of the early days of the fruit industry in Mooroopna and Shepparton. I'm thinking that occupational health and services would be horrified at those women working so close to a mountain of fruit cans today.
The railway line was extended from Seymour to Shepparton in 1880, and further extended to Numurkah (1881) and east to Dookie (1888). The town of Shepparton was part of the shire until 1927.
As the railway extensions went ahead new towns were formed in irrigated farmlands: Congupra (1877); Pine Lodge (1878); Tallygaroopna (1877). Closer settlement and soldier settlement villages were dotted along the line to Dookie: Grahamvale (1910), Orrvale (1912), Shepparton East (1912) andLemnos (1927).
At about the time of the outbreak of World War I many soft fruit orchards were producing big crops and the orderly marketing of fruit became a problem. The Shepparton Irrigators Association formed a cooperative cannery, the Shepparton Preserving Company (SPC) in 1917.
In 1936 a Shepparton East irrigator, John McDonald, was elected to the Victorian Parliament. He promoted the interests of growers and became Premier in 1950. He was instrumental in having the Goulburn Valley irrigation scheme enlarged by the construction of the Big Eildon dam in the early 1950s.
Lunch time at the SPC canteen - late 1940's (Doherty collection)
Bellow: SPC fruit boxes on trucks as the drivers wait for the fruit inspectors at the old SPC cannery.