LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
WITH the push to change the name of the McMillan electorate, the name Monash after Sir John Monash has been mentioned.
He served Australia in World War 1 and was instrumental setting up the coal powered electricity industry in the Latrobe Valley, and has been recognised with his name as an everlasting memory of his deeds to Victoria and Australia.
It now seems the coal industry has run its dominant race and has become a non-sustainable industry.
Sir John Monash’s contribution has been a great service, and without taking anything from him, a person from a sustainable industry needs to be considered.
The electorate and its surrounds has great plantation and native forests.
No one can deny plantation forests are sustainable and produce value-added building material.
One such person to fit this honour would be Wilbur Saxton, who came from a long-time timber family with timber operations at Tanjil Bren, Moe, and later at Licola.
Mr Saxton always cared for his employees.
In the big floods of 1952 the bridges were washed out between Heyfield and Licola and the mill town residents of 80, including 20 children, were running out of food.
Mr Saxton and four men took the mill loader, making a high track to Hickeys Creek, and met up with Brian Coleman who brought up a load of supplies.
Mr Saxton had to drive the loader through the floodwaters to pick up the supplies, and he got partly washed off the loader.
The Saxtons built 18 employee homes and a school at Licola.
Mr Saxton was a visionary and a conservationist, and later he and his wife Janie settled in Longford and started a plantation tree farm working with CSIRO to produce better seed stock for Gippsland pine plantations.
I would think there is a little bit of Wilbur and Janie Saxton growing all over the large area of Gippsland’s pine plantations, so why not the electorate of Saxton?