Gay & Robinson’s departure means Hawaii has only one sugar grower left
By Allison Schaefers
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Oct 31, 2009WAIMEA, Kauai » The sugar workers bringing in the last harvest at centuries-old Gay & Robinson had tears in their eyes, but this time it was not from the smoke and burning caramel smell that accompanies cane processing.
Amid a chorus of honking trucks, employees escorted Kauai’s last load of sugar cane from the field to the mill yesterday. Along the way, they paid homage to West Kauai, and the community responded in kind.
The convoy began at Makaweli Post Office and proceeded through Waimea Town, around the West Kauai Technology Center and into Hanapepe before stopping at Kaumakani Mill where the workers rode up the dusty drive like returning war heroes. They are the last of their kind on Kauai, the island that ushered in the state’s centuries-old sugar tradition with the opening of the first successful sugar mill in Koloa in 1835. They are the end of an era.