Pineapple grower William Pates was anticipating a large crowd at the centennial celebration of his family farm but when Greater Brisbane was put into a snap COVID lockdown the day before, he was forced to cancel the celebration. The event was expected to take place on January 9.
Pates said: "A lot of time was put into organising the event, but when we got the message that the event couldn't go ahead it was pretty humbling. There's nothing you can do about these things, and there's no good blaming anyone for it. It had been three years of planning but I don't handle crowds well, so it was a bit of a relief."
So without a large audience, Pates unveiled the plaque that celebrated his family's 100 years of farming pineapples in Queensland by himself.
Queensland Agriculture Minister Mark Furner was expected to be one of many celebrating the Pates' proud history growing pineapples in the region.
There are more than one million pineapple plants in the ground on the Pates' 20 hectare property, with Pates grateful the stars aligned for the crop more than the event. "It's been a good year, maybe a little more rain could have helped but this crop will get picked in the next ten days," he told queenslandcountrylife.com.au. "That's where the bread and butter comes from, I'm happy that's all going smoothly. It'll be a quick harvest, all the pineapples are coming on at the same time."
Mr Pates' pineapples are marketed through Pinata and are sold at Coles and Woolworths across the state.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com