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Snapshot - The Cannery Reflections

Published on Thursday, 24 June 2021 at 5:18:00 PM

The Cannery Reflections by Tony Devlin

This was located in Marine Terrace, just east of the railway spur line into the assorted oil installations to the south, and the Ice Works on the western side. Dad, Arnold Phillips Devlin, was manager there from late 1947, approximately September/October as I recall, and was there until he was offered a position as Managing Secretary for the Geraldton Tomato Growers Association with their office being in Durlacher Street just along from the Freemason's Hotel set on the corner with Marine Terrace, and that would’ve been in about 1951, I think.

At the cannery, the work was seasonal, i.e. Cray seasonal, so there was always the need to have other perishables to be canned to spread the work load and make the factory more profitable, so other lines they trialled were rabbits, and various varieties of fish. One fish type they tried was Albacore Tuna, and to cook the Tuna, the engineering section of the Geraldton Flour Mill manufactured a steam pressure cooker using a length of scrap torpedo tube fitted with sealing doors at each end, a narrow railway with lift out sections to allow the doors to be swung open or closed, and a couple of wheeled carts to run on the rails to carry the very large Albacore Tuna. It did a brilliant job of cooking the Tuna, but did not proceed. The Cannery was sold to Tropical Traders who in turn moved their operations to what had been the Globe Brewery in Evans Street, now known as Cunningham Street.

The Cannery

Photo Caption: #P 14755, Red Tail Cannery, 1950’s, courtesy of Akerstrom Collection.

Caption by Tony Devlin, 2013.

Snapshots is an initiative of the Geraldton Regional Library. For more information, or to donate a historical photo or slide to the Library, contact Heritage Services at the Geraldton Regional Library on 9956 6659 or

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