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Pioneer Sugar Mill Archive

Pioneer Sugar Mill originated in 1883 when a partnership was formed to acquire 5,064 acres to cultivate sugar. The original partners were: John, George, Alexander, Arthur and William Drysdale, John Bell, Robert Tullis and David and Arthur Russell. By 1884 five plantations had been opened up and a mill established. Prospects for the infant industry did not then appear as bright as when the venture was undertaken – annual rainfall had proved less than anticipated, world sugar prices had fallen substantially and transport of sugar to the nearest ports of Bowen or Townsville was difficult. The partners on site realised that the main obstacle to development was lack of adequate rainfall. Fortunately, Pioneer estates had access to a number of open water lagoons. Irrigation schemes were initiated using these, but the heavy expenditure involved severely strained partnership finances.

A turning point in business operations came in 1886 with the arrival of John Drysdale, an experienced engineer and administrator. His discovery of vast underground aquifers, and an economical method of tapping them, ended dependence on the few large lagoons and allowed smaller holdings to enter the industry.

Other landmarks in early mill operations included:

i) Completion of the Ayr–Townsville tramway in 1911
ii) Construction of a new mill at Inkerman, to a design worked out by John Drysdale, in 1913
iii) The incorporation of the business as a company in 1914
iv) Government regulation of the industry in 1915
v) The opening of several mills –Babinda, South Johnstone, Invicta and Tully– in the early 1920's saw Pioneer firmly established as one of the area’s major trading establishments.

Archive Location: 87-107L; 256-285, 461-474


Series Listing

Pioneer Mill Records I

Plans, Maps and Schedules (List incomplete) (PDF document, 2 pages)

Correspondence and Transactions, 1883-1906 (PDF document, 12 pages)

Correspondence and Transactions, 1907-1913 (PDF document, 12 pages)

Correspondence and Transactions, 1914-1920 (PDF document, 4 pages)

Correspondence and Transactions, 1921-1931 (PDF document, 11 pages)

Correspondence and Transactions, 1932-1963 (PDF document, 6 pages)

Pioneer Mill Records List 2

Letterbooks, 1884-1942 (PDF document, 44 pages) (includes statistics compiled from Pioneer Mills Pacific Islanders' register, 1895-1906 and Burdekin Pacific Islands' register)

Pioneer Mill Records II

a) Drysdale Bros & Co.: correspondence 1893-1899; account books and final accounts 1914-1930.

b) Pioneer Sugar Mill: correspondence 1945-1971; a wide variety of accounting records (e.g. wages books, cost ledgers, cash books); end-of-year financial statements; production statistics; annual reports to directors; Austr a lian Sugar Producers' Association circulars; and data on Royal Commissions into the sugar industry, between 1939 and 1942. This material should be read in conjunction with extensive records held at 86L-107R.

Note: John Drysdale supervised the operation of Kalamia Mill in the late 1890's. At that time Charles Young was the manager of Kalamia Mill, and some of his correspondence is held in the Charles Young collection.

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Archive Location 282R-283

Drysdale Bros & Co.

PMR/DRYS/1 Partners' Register 1915-1936. Contains names and addresses of partners and the value of their investment in the company.
PMR/DRYS/2 Property Register 1928-1934. Contains details of all properties leased, including size, annual rental, value of land and improvements, length of lease.
PMR/DRYS/3 Wages Book 1923-1928. Contains gross wages, deductions (including value of rations) and levies (e.g. hospital contributions), with separate sections for farm workers and canecutters.
PMR/DRYS/4 Wages Book 1928-1938.
PMR/DRYS/5 Cash Book May 1923-January 1938.
PMR/DRYS/6 Private Ledger June 1935-December 1963.
PMR/DRYS/7 General Ledger January 1927-March 1938.
PMR/DRYS/8 Final Accounts 1914-1930.
PMR/DRYS/9 Mrs Annie Bell's Trust (six-fiftieth shares in Pioneer Estate), August 1894-November 1907.
Pioneer Sugar Mill

Archive Location 235-246

Cost Ledgers , Pioneer Mill

Contain detailed records of material and labour costs in all areas of mill production and maintenance.

PMR/CL/1 1940-1941
PMR/CL/2 1946-1947
PMR/CL/3 1948-1949
PMR/CL/3A-B 1950-1951
PMR/CL/4 1952
PMR/CL/5 1953-1954
PMR/CL/6 1955
PMR/CL/7 1956
PMR/CL/8 1957
PMR/CL/9 1958
PMR/CL/10 1959-1960
PMR/CL/11 1961
PMR/CL/12 1962
PMR/CL/13 1963
PMR/CL/14 1964
PMR/CL/15 1966

Cost Ledgers, Inkerman Mill

PMR/INK/CL/1 1959
PMR/INK/CL/2 1961
PMR/INK/CL/3 1962
PMR/INK/CL/4 1963
PMR/INK/CL/5 1964
PMR/INK/CL/6 1965
General Journals

Contain miscellaneous entries (e.g. bad debt provisions, inter-company transfers) which are not appropriate for the day-to-day account books.

PMR/GJ/1 January 1938-July 1946
PMR/GJ/2 August 1946-December 1951
PMR/GJ/3 January 1952-December 1954
PMR/GJ/4 January 1955-April 1958
PMR/GJ/5 May 1958-December 1961
PMR/GJ/6 January 1962-December 1965
Archive Location 245

Depreciation Schedules

Containing asset description, original cost, depreciation rates, additions, sales, closing values.

PMR/DEPREC/10 1965
PMR/DEPREC/11 1966
PMR/DEPREC/12 1967


Mill Sugar Books

Contain records of all deliveries and transfers from storage areas and weekly reconciliations of tonnages on hand.

PMR/SB/1 1896
PMR/SB/2 1899
PMR/SB/3 1901
PMR/SB/4 1902
PMR/SB/5 1903
PMR/SB/6 1904
PMR/SB/7 1905
PMR/SB/8 1906
PMR/SB/9 1907
PMR/SB/10 1908
PMR/SB/11 1909

Archive Location 247-252

Wages Books

Contain records of fortnightly wages paid to employees, tax instalments, hours worked, etc.

PMR/WB/1 1915-1916
PMR/WB/2 1916-1926
PMR/WB/3 1927-1932
PMR/WB/4 1933-1935
PMR/WB/5 1936-1938
PMR/WB/6 1939-1940
PMR/WB/7 1940-1942
PMR/WB/8 1943-1948
PMR/WB/9 1949-1951
PMR/WB/10 1952-1953
PMR/WB/11 1960-1961
PMR/WB/12 1961-1962
PMR/WB/13 1965 (not a wage book?)

Archive Location 252-255

Correspondence Registers

Comprisd of indexes to inward and outward correspondence, including date, addressee and subject matter of letters.

PMR/CR/1 1934-1937
PMR/CR/2 1938-1940
PMR/CR/3 1941-1942
PMR/CR/4 1943-1944
PMR/CR/5 1945-1946
PMR/CR/6 1947-1948
PMR/CR/7 1951-1952
PMR/CR/8 1953-1954
PMR/CR/9 1955-1956
PMR/CR/10 1957
PMR/CR/11 1959-1961
PMR/CR/12 1961-1962
PMR/CR/13 1963
PMR/CR/14 1964
PMR/CR/15 1965
PMR/CR/16 1966
PMR/CR/17 1967

Correspondence Circulated Register
PMR/CR/C/1 1966

Correspondence Registers: Suppliers
PMR/CR/S/1 1946-1948
PMR/CR/S/2 1951
PMR/CD/S/3 1952-1956
Archive Location 256-263

Correspondence Folders

Contain orders for material, applications for employment, arrangements for staff leave, proposals for new capital works, finance and lease agreements, etc., plus wartime regulations and problems with the supply of raw materials.

PMR/CORR/1-4 1945
PMR/CORR/5-9 1946
PMR/CORR/10-14 1947
PMR/CORR/15-21 1948
PMR/CORR/22-24 1949
PMR/CORR/25-29 1950
PMR/CORR/30-36 1951
PMR/CORR/37-42 1952
PMR/CORR/43-48 1953
PMR/CORR/49-52 1954
PMR/CORR/53 1955
PMR/CORR/54-55 1955-1956
PMR/CORR/56-73 1966
PMR/CORR/74-86 1967
PMR/CORR/87-93 1968
PMR/CORR/94-97 1969
PMR/CORR/98-105 1970
PMR/CORR/106 1971

Archive Location 263


PMR/INSCE/1 Copies of policies, premium notices and agents reports, covering business premises and dwellings 1958-1967
PMR/INSCE/2 Copies of policies concerning public liability, cash in transit, marine and baggage insurance 1959-1966
PMR/INSCE/3 Copies of policies dealing with motor vehicles and machinery and plant, 1958-1967
PMR/INSCE/4 Copies of policies covering storm and tempest, fire, burglary, loss of profits, boiler explosion and aviation, 1959-1965
PMR/INSCE/5 Correspondence from head office to subsidiary mills, 1961-1970
PMR/INSCE/6 Documents and correspondence on policy renewals received from the South British Insurance Company, 1964-1966
PMR/INSCE/7 Workers' Compensation forms completed by employees, 1964-1970
PMR/INSCE/8 Correspondence with insurance companies regarding claims made on policies, 1952–1970

Meetings of Directors/Shareholders

PMR/MEET/1 Agendas, 1939-1958
PMR/MEET/2 Minutes, 1940-1955
PMR/MEET/3 Minutes of meeting, 1965-1972
Archive Location 264

Quality Control , Raw Sugar

PMR/QLTY/1 Analytical methods and pre-set standards used in determining sugar quality, 1965-1970
PMR/QLTY/2-3 Comparative ratings of the 34 Queensland mills on the basis of:
starch, colour 1966-1973, grain content, filterability
PMR/QLTY/4 Raw sugar batch receipts for samples sent to CSR for analysis for Pioneer and Inkerman mills, 1966-1967
PMR/QLTY/5 Details of the "net titre" factor in the determination of raw sugar quality
PMR/QLTY/6 Correspondence with the Sugar Research Institute regarding updates in technology in sugar quality control, 1954-1970


PMR/STAFF/1 Forms of Indenture and Certificates of Service of apprentices, 1915-1966
PMR/STAFF/2 Correspondence, 1964-1971: recruitment and appraisal of apprentices, government regulations dealing with apprentices
PMR/STAFF/3 Correspondence, 1966-1974: conditions of employment of apprentices
PMR/STAFF/4 Applications for employment, 1970-1971: chemical department, tradesmen, engine drivers
PMR/STAFF/5 Applications for employment, 1970-1974: Apprentices, engineering departments, field positions
PMR/STAFF/6 Accident reports/statistics, 1969-1974
PMR/STAFF/7 Accident reports/statistics, 1975-1976
PMR/STAFF/8 Correspondence, 1970-1975: training of staff, scholarships available for employees
PMR/STAFF/9 Correspondence, 1969-1974: senior staffing appointments, staff purchase scheme, staff housing scheme, long-service and special leave
PMR/STAFF/10 Correspondence, 1971-1975: wages and conditions of work of employees, job descriptions, recipients of long-service awards
PMR/STAFF/11 Correspondence, 1970-1973: division manning requirements, timekeeping procedures, vacation employment, C.M.F. training, company medical benefits scheme
PMR/STAFF/12 Summary of staff employee classifications, 1966-1968
PMR/STAFF/13 Accident reports and accident investigation reports, 1971-1973

Archive Location 265


PMR/REP/1 Pioneer Mill Managing Director's reports to the Board of Directors, 1954-1965
PMR/REP/2 Pioneer Mill Manager's report to the Managing Director, 1954-1957
PMR/REP/3 Report to Directors, Estate activities (farms and pastoral properties), 1954-1963
PMR/REP/4 Report to Managing Director on Birralee, Weetalaba, Fig Tree and Pioneer stations, 1963-1964
PMR/REP/5-6 Reports to management on various specialised activities within the mill (indexed at the front), 1963-1973
PMR/REP/7 Weekly reports to the General Manager, Inkerman Mill, 1974
PMR/REP/8 Weekly reports to the General Manager, Pioneer Mill, 1974-1975
PMR/REP/9 Inkerman Mill, Manager's reports to Managing Director, 1954-1961 and 1965
PMR/REP/10 Reports, special, internal 1965-1969
PMR/REP/11 Cane sugar industry of Australia (a report upon some factors relating to the) by Dr. Walter Maxwell, presented to both Houses of Parliament, 1901. 11p.
PMR/REP/12 Notes on a visit to Pioneer [Mill], unsigned and undated, noting soil, rainfall, irrigation, crushing plant, employees. 8p.
PMR/REP/13 The Sugar Question: an argument made before the members of the Commonwealth Senate, by Dr. Walter Maxwell. No date. 12p.
PMR/REP/14 Report to Messrs Drysdale Bros and Co, Melbourne [regarding bad season], signed by G R Drysdale. No date. 12p.
PMR/REP/15 Supplementary report on future capacity requirements at Inkerman. 14p. 18 August 1952.
PMR/REP/16 Report on expansion programme for Pioneer and Inkerman Mills. 16p. 14 March 1953.
PMR/REP/17 Report on future capacity requirements at Pioneer. 10p. 2 November 1953.
PMR/REP/18 Report to Directors: expansion programme; progress report from December 1955-July 1956. 2. 2 July 1956.
PMR/REP/19 Report to Directors: expansion programme; progress report from July 1956-December 1956. 1p.
PMR/REP/20 Report to Directors: capacity requirements of Pioneer and Inkerman. 4p. 1 July 1958.
PMR/REP/21 Minutes of informal meetings of shareholders held in Scotland, 1952-1960.
PMR/REP/22-23 The extent and suitability for irrigated cane production of the soils adjacent to Pioneer Mill cane lands; report by L G Vallance. 3p. 3 August 1964. 2 copies.
PMR/REP/24-25 Changes at Inkerman Mill, 1949-1966. Statement by Pioneer Sugar Mills Ltd to the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Commission of Queensland. 28p. 16 November 1964. 2 copies.
PMR/REP/26 First annual report of Jeff Rogers Pty Ltd [reinforced plastics]. Pioneer Sugar Mills became involved with the firm in 1961. 2p. 31 December 1963.
PMR/REP/27 Jeff Rogers Pty Ltd, Fibreglass Laminators. Financial statements year ended 31 December 1965. 5p. 14 April 1966.

Farm Sales

Contains: lease agreements, easement provisions, land resumptions, contracts of sale, road construction arrangements

PMR/FARM/1-7 1955-1974
Archive Location 266R

Dividends to Shareholders

Comprised of details of shareholders, dividends received and number of shares held.

PMR/DIV/1 June 1932
PMR/DIV/2 June 1933
PMR/DIV/3 May 1934 (Interim)
PMR/DIV/4 June 1934
PMR/DIV/5 July 1934 (Special)
PMR/DIV/6 June 1935
PMR/DIV/7 June 1936
PMR/DIV/8 June 1937
PMR/DIV/9 June 1938
PMR/DIV/10 June 1939
PMR/DIV/11 June 1940
PMR/DIV/12 June 1941
PMR/DIV/13 June 1942
PMR/DIV/14 June 1943
PMR/DIV/15 June 1944
PMR/DIV/16 June 1945
PMR/DIV/17 June 1946
PMR/DIV/18 June 1947
PMR/DIV/19 June 1948
PMR/DIV/20 June 1949
PMR/DIV/21 June 1950
PMR/DIV/22 June 1951
PMR/DIV/23 June 1952
PMR/DIV/24 July 1953
PMR/DIV/25 July 1954
PMR/DIV/26 October 1954
PMR/DIV/27 July 1955
PMR/DIV/28 October 1955
PMR/DIV/29 July 1956
PMR/DIV/30 October 1956
PMR/DIV/31 July 1957
PMR/DIV/32 October 1957
PMR/DIV/33 Dividends withholding tax records 1960-1964


Archive Location 266

Plant and Machinery

PMR/PLANT/1 Capital expenditure authority approval forms, 1966-1969
PMR/PLANT/2 Capital expenditure authority approval forms, 1969-1975
PMR/PLANT/3 Correspondence, 1965-1970: machinery inspections, weighbridges, quality control, cane trucks maintenance, mill breakdowns, boiler maintenance, dry sugar-cane pulp (bagasse) handling and storage
PMR/PLANT/4 Correspondence, 1970-1971: damaged caused to mill plant by extraneous objects, boiler station modifications, vehicle purchase/maintenance, tramways
PMR/PLANT/5 Correspondence, 1967-1970: power house, evaporation station, filter station, pan station, crystalliser station, fugal stations, sugar handling equipment, water cooling equipment, data logging equipment, laboratory instrumentation, rolling stock, power reticulation
PMR/PLANT/6 Correspondence, 1967-1970: office equipment
Archive Location 267


PMR/ACCTG/1 Accounts Receivable Correspondence, 1966-1970: incorrect charges, overcharges for damaged goods, overdue accounts
PMR/ACCTG/2 Correspondence, 1966-1970: inter-unit transfers, annual stocktaking procedures, year-end financial statement preparation
PMR/ACCTG/3 Budgets, 1966-1970: detailed estimates of all departments, actual vs budget figures for each department with reasons for large variances, summaries of cost ledger balances
PMR/ACCTG/4 Wages summaries, 1964-1967
PMR/ACCTG/5 Bank overdraft and bank guarantee arrangements, 1966 – 1970

Australian Sugar Producers' Association Circulars

Contain detailed reports of discussions with trade unions on award negotiations and disputes; advice on health and safety issues; wage decisions brought down by the state and federal arbitration commissioners; reports on the domestic and international sugar scene, including projections of future trends; summaries of management plans for the future. (All folders are self-indexed).

General circulars

PMR/CIRC/1 1965-1966
PMR/CIRC/2 1967
PMR/CIRC/3 1968
PMR/CIRC/4 1969
PMR/CIRC/5 1970

Industrial circulars to mills

PMR/CIRC/6 1967-1970

Special circulars to mills

PMR/CIRC/7 1967-1971

Type "G"

PMR/CIRC/8 1967
PMR/CIRC/9 1968
PMR/CIRC/10 1969
PMR/CIRC/11 1970
PMR/CIRC/12 1971
PMR/CIRC/13 1972-1973

Type "E"

PMR/CIRC/14 1967-1970

Type "M"

PMR/CIRC/15 1971 – 1976 (+16,17 unrecorded).?

Archive Location 268

"In Store" Advance Payments

Contains detailed records of sugar shipments from store, from both Pioneer and Inkerman mills, plus copies of "Millowner's Certificates" forwarded to the bank, outlining amounts to be credited to the Pioneer Mill account.

PMR/ADV/1 1942
PMR/ADV/2 1943
PMR/ADV/3 1944
PMR/ADV/4 1945
PMR/ADV/5 1947
PMR/ADV/6 1948
PMR/ADV/7 1949
PMR/ADV/8 1950
PMR/ADV/9 1951
PMR/ADV/10 1952
PMR/ADV/11 1953
PMR/ADV/12 1954
PMR/ADV/13 1955
Stock Feed Sales Books

Contain carbon copies of quantities of molasses sold, purchaser and price per ton.

PMR/FEED/1 June 1974-August 1974
PMR/FEED/2 September 1974-November 1974
PMR/FEED/3 December 1974-July 1975
PMR/FEED/4 July 1975-October 1975
PMR/FEED/5 October 1975-June 1976
PMR/FEED/6 June 1976-September 1976
PMR/FEED/7 September 1976-October 1976
PMR/FEED/8 October 1976-December 1976
PMR/FEED/9 December 1976-May 1977
PMR/FEED/10 May 1977-September 1977
PMR/FEED/11 September 1977-October 1977
PMR/FEED/12 October 1977-December 1977
PMR/FEED/13 December 1977-May 1978
PMR/FEED/14 May 1978-August 1978
PMR/FEED/15 August 1978-October 1978
PMR/FEED/16 November 1978-February 1979
PMR/FEED/17 February 1979-July 1979
PMR/FEED/18 July 1979-September 1979
PMR/FEED/19 September 1979-October 1979
PMR/FEED/20 October 1979-November 1979


Sugar Cane

PMR/CANE/1 Cane varieties,statistics, 1960-1970: Experimental, Approved, Cane analysis/sampling
PMR/CANE/2 Cane suppliers, 1965-1970: Lists of names and addresses, Peak production statistics, Cane quality reports
PMR/CANE/3 Correspondence, 1953-1970: Details of end-of-season payments to growers
PMR/CANE/4 Correspondence, 1955-1966: Details of interim payments to growers, penalties imposed for overloading, stale cane, inferior quality cane, details of anticipated cane prices that growers would receive

Archive Location 269

Trial Balance Journals

Contain details of "clean" and "burnt" tonnages delivered by growers each week, tonnages crushed and balances of cane on hand uncrushed.

PMR/TB/1 1934-1936
PMR/TB/2 1937
PMR/TB/3 1953
PMR/TB/4 1954-1957

Summaries of Tonnages Crushed

Contain weekly figures of tonnages crushed for each grower and the CCS content average per ton.

PMR/TC/1 1942
PMR/TC/2 1944
PMR/TC/3 1945
PMR/TC/4 1946
PMR/TC/5 1947
PMR/TC/6 1948
PMR/TC/7 1949
PMR/TC/8 1950
PMR/TC/9 1951
PMR/TC/10 1952
PMR/TC/11 1953
PMR/TC/12 1954
Summaries of Sugar Shipments

Contain date of sailing, number of sacks, weight, price, destination, etc.

PMR/SHIP/1-15 1913-1927
Weigh-bill Records

Contain details of quantity and variety of tonnages delivered by growers on a daily basis.

PMR/WBR/1 1952
PMR/WBR/2 1954
PMR/WBR/3 1959
PMR/WBR/4 1963 – 1964


Australian Sugar Producers' Association Bulletins

Contain amounts crushed at various mills; market prices for sugar; weather predictions for planting; research and development programmes in operation; notices of seminars and meetings; and summaries of news items from the press of interest to growers.

PMR/BULL/1 1955
PMR/BULL/2 1956
PMR/BULL/3 1957
PMR/BULL/4 1958
PMR/BULL/5 1959
PMR/BULL/6 1960
PMR/BULL/7 1961
PMR/BULL/8 1962
PMR/BULL/9 1963
PMR/BULL/10 1964
PMR/BULL/11 1965
PMR/BULL/12 1966
PMR/BULL/13 1968
PMR/BULL/14 1969
PMR/BULL/15 1970


Archive Location 270


PMR/MISC/1 Visits to mills, 1965-1972: sugar conference delegates; overseas trade missions; government representatives; sugar research institute staff; National Safety Council of Australia Minutes of meetings of (i) Executive committee, (ii) Annual General Meetings - Townsville regional committee; financial reports; correspondence
PMR/MISC/2/1 March 1967-October 1973
PMR/MISC/2/2 September 1967-October 1975
PMR/MISC/3 Donations, 1965-1970: sporting clubs, charities, political parties, school-based groups, Community Welfare organisations
PMR/MISC/4 Bureau of Sugar Experiment, 1954-1972: Minutes of the mill research programme committee
PMR/MISC/5 Takeover and merger proposals, 1962-1969: Investigations into various companies and properties
PMR/MISC/6 Sugar Research Institute, 1954-1971: Minutes of meetings
PMR/MISC/7 Bursaries, 1969-1971: Pioneer Mill bursaries to secondary school students
PMR/MISC/8 Tobacco share-farming agreements, 1950-1953
PMR/MISC/9 Buildings and improvements. Plans and correspondence dealing with the construction of: Inkerman Mill office 1963-1964, staff housing 1950-1964, guest lodge (Pioneer Estate) 1963-1964, new head office, Brisbane 1966
PMR/MISC/10 Internal memorandums, 1969-1976: pay rates, holidays, safety issues, meetings
PMR/MISC/11 Controls (Stores), 1965-1968: problems with recording and charging out, outline of desirable stocktaking procedures, detailed stores control plan, Controls (Engineering Work), 1969-1970, Report on Inkerman Mill, Problems and proposed solutions, Planned Maintenance, 1969-1971, Working plan to ensure machinery is kept at a top level of availability, Detailed cost control recommendations
PMR/MISC/12 Communication, 1966-1970: installation of telex, PABX, public address systems, air freight, coding - amendments to index files, Post Office - variations to mail closing times, etc.
PMR/MISC/13 Statistical returns, 1955-1965: imports/exports, sales tax, retail outlet sales, Tramways, 1954-1963, purchase and maintenance of material for cane tramways
PMR/MISC/14 Professional association subscriptions, 1966-1969: Executive staff memberships of work-related organisations, Seminars, 1966- 1970, Travel and accommodation arrangements, conference reports, copies of seminar papers, Pioneer Mill Social Club, 1968-1970, Correspondence
PMR/MISC/15 Company reorganisation, 1971: Engineering department, Accounting department, (Historical background; organisational structure; functions; future needs; feasibility studies; recommendations for change)
PMR/MISC/16 Company reorganisation, 1971: sugar division, company as a whole
PMR/MISC/17 Correspondence: Pioneer Chemicals Pty Ltd, 1961-1970; Queensland Harvesting Company, 1966- 1970
PMR/MISC/18 Correspondence: Pioneer Stations Pty. Ltd. 1961-1970, Pioneer Stud 1959-1970
PMR/MISC/19 Universities: Correspondence, General, Queensland University, University College of Townsville - Foundation for Australian studies:, establishment, list of foundation members, Notices of Annual General Meeting, literary competitions/seminars, constitution
PMR/MISC/20 Bulk Sugar Handling, 1965-1971: problems with transportation of sugar, loading, storage and delivery arrangements

Archive Location 271

PMR/MISC/21 Correspondence: Executive staff appointments 1962-1968, expansion of areas available for planting 1963-1964, report of the Committee of Inquiry into the expansion of the sugar industry (October 1963), appointment of J.P.'s 1966-1971, employment of staff chemists in the slack season
PMR/MISC/22 Reports: internal reports circulated to staff 1957-1960, Mill and Estate Managers' reports to the Managing Director 1956-1960, Managing Director's reports to the Board of Directors 1956-1960
PMR/MISC/23 Miscellaneous reports to directors, 1952-1958

PMR/MISC/24 Central Sugar Cane Prices Board: decisions made on appeals against rulings of the various Local Boards, 1965- 1966
PMR/MISC/25 Correspondence: Pioneer Estate, general, 1962-1971, Pioneer Estate, trees and gardens, 1965-1969, fire-fighting and fire prevention 1952-1969, health and safety issues 1965-1971
PMR/MISC/26 Reports on domestic sugar production, international sugar prices, quotas, marketing strategies 1953-1963
PMR/MISC/27 Correspondence: Purchases of replacement parts for machinery 1965-1968, delivery arrangements and prices for sugar 1968
PMR/MISC/28 Factory Result Sheets, 1955-1964: Weekly figures for Pioneer and Inkerman Mills, showing tonnages crushed, production times, tonnages extracted and C.C.S. content
PMR/MISC/29 Miscellaneous Data Sheets, 1958-1964: Weekly figures for Pioneer and Inkerman Mills, showing production time lost, overtime hours worked, amounts of extraneous matter in cane and results of quality control testing
PMR/MISC/30-31 Sugar Analysis Forms, 1955-1956: Weekly comparisons between Pioneer and Inkerman Mill quality control tests on raw sugar and data produced by CSR.
PMR/MISC/32-33 Sugar bin applications/approvals 1969-1970
PMR/MISC/34-35 Visitors' Books 1947-1968 and 1975-1981: Pioneer Mill
PMR/MISC/36 Growers' cane proceeds ledger cards, 1961
PMR/MISC/37 Incomplete series of annual financial statements for other Queensland sugar mills, 1941 – 1963

Archive Location 272

PMR/MISC/38 Scrap book of newspaper clippings on Pioneer and Inkerman mills and Queensland tobacco growing 1956-1964
PMR/MISC/39 Aerial photographs of various Pioneer properties (undated)
PMR/MISC/40 Staff Superannuation fund records, 1932-1962
PMR/MISC/41 Engineers' Standard Catalogue: Gas Industries Series, 1920- 1922, Standard Catalogue Company Ltd., London, 1922
PMR/MISC/42 British Aircraft Standard Catalogue, 1920-1921, Standard Catalogue Company Ltd., London, 1921
PMR/MISC/43 World Sugar Economy: Structures and Policies,Volume 1, International Sugar Council, London, 1963
PMR/MISC/44 Motor Manual: All about motors in simple language , 18th edition, Temple Press Publications, London, 1922
PMR/MISC/45 Memorandum and articles of association, Pioneer Sugar Mills Pty Ltd.
PMR/MISC/46 Staff Superannuation payments, 1932-1967
PMR/MISC/47 Cane Journal 1940-1941: Monthly payments to growers for cane delivered
PMR/MISC/48-50 Inkerman Mill head office transfers for year ended 31 December 1959 (original and 2 copies).

Archive Location 272

Pioneer Estate Balance Sheet

PMR/MISC/51 31 December 1885
PMR/MISC/52 31 December 1886
PMR/MISC/53 31 December 1887
PMR/MISC/54 31 December 1888
PMR/MISC/55 31 December 1889
PMR/MISC/56 31 December 1892
PMR/MISC/57 Letter to Mr Young regarding Pioneer Estates, 14 May 1884. 5p.
PMR/MISC/58 Excerpts from letter to E M Young from Arthur Russell, regarding Pioneer Estates, 9 March 1887. 2p.
PMR/MISC/59 Envelope containing: letter to Russell from Arthur Drysdale, 13 February 1890; note to David (?) from Arthur Russell, no date; note to Arthur Russell from C Kingston in London, 14 February 1890, attached to 4 telegrams; plan of cane plantations near town of Noondoo. All items in fragile condition.
PMR/MISC/60 Description of Pioneer Estate (area, cultivation, water supply, irrigation, plant, stock, etc. 12p. Approx. date 1900 or earlier.
PMR/MISC/61 Agreement for scale of land between D. Donald and G.V. Robert (trustees of the will of John Drysdale) and J.W. Ritchie. 2 October 1936. 4p. Also 2 Notices of purchases, dated 21 July 1937.

Copies of state and federal income tax returns for Drysdale Bros. and Pioneer Sugar Mills.
PMR/MISC/62 Drysdale Bros. state income tax 1915-1924.
PMR/MISC/63 Pioneer Sugar Mills state income tax 1915-1924.
PMR/MISC/64 Drysdale Bros. federal income tax 1915-1921
PMR/MISC/65 Pioneer Sugar Mills federal income tax 1915-1924.

State and federal income tax returns for major shareholders.
PMR/MISC/66 1916-1918
PMR/MISC/67 1919
PMR/MISC/68 1920
PMR/MISC/69 1921
PMR/MISC/70 1922
PMR/MISC/71 1923
PMR/MISC/72 1924
PMR/MISC/73 1925
PMR/MISC/74 1926
PMR/MISC/75 Pioneer Sugar Mills. Salary Book January 1929-April 1950.
PMR/MISC/76 Pioneer Sugar Mills share register and register of members (and transfer register). Part 1. December 1914-January 1956.
PMR/MISC/77 Drysdale Ritchie and Co. Cash book. Balanced accounts for years 1930-1949, detailing expenditure on stock, implements, fuel, stationery, repairs, sale of assets; for different estates.
PMR/MISC/78 A brief history and account of Pioneer Sugar Mills Pty. Ltd. 2p. September 1954.
PMR/MISC/79 Pioneer Chemicals Pty. Ltd. Quarterly Reports to Directors October -December 1972, January-March 1973, April-June 1973; also budget 1973/74.
PMR/MISC/80 File on [employee] Magatoro Choro, including closure of bank account under National Security (Enemy Property) Regulations. December 1940- December 1942.
PMR/MISC/81 File on apportionment of purchase price of 'Birralee'. 17p. 21 February 1963-11 February 1964.
Archive Location 273-274

Audited Final Accounts

Comprising: Managing Director's Annual Report, Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Account, List of Shareholders, Income Tax Returns, Ledger Balances, Asset Balances, Trial Balance, Bad Debts Written Off, Statements of Wages and Directors' Fees


End of Year Financial Statements

Contain Balance Sheets, Profit and Loss Statement and Appropriation Account, for Pioneer and Inkerman Mills.

PMR/FINANCE/18 1956 (Inkerman Mill only)

Archive Location 275

Chemical Control Data

Comprises data prepared by the Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations, from weekly samples provided by all Pioneer Mills. Reports include information on: sugar content, fibre content, juice levels, purity

PMR/CHEM/1/1 1950-1952
PMR/CHEM/1/2 1953-1954
PMR/CHEM/1/3 1955-1956
PMR/CHEM/1/4 1957-1958
PMR/CHEM/1/5 1959-1960
PMR/CHEM/1/6 1961
PMR/CHEM/1/7 1962
PMR/CHEM/1/8 1963
Pioneer Mill only

PMR/CHEM/2/1 1940-1950
PMR/CHEM/2/2 1951-1959
PMR/CHEM/2/3 1953-1960
Inkerman Mill only

PMR/CHEM/3/1 1939-1950
PMR/CHEM/3/2 1951-1960
Archive Location 276L

Inter-Branch Transfer Advice Books

Contain details of inter-departments charges (e.g. costs of repairs, payroll tax, stock feed) debited to other sections of the mills' operations.

Sugar Division/Head Office

PMR/IBTA/1/1 October 1970-October 1971
PMR/IBTA/1/2 November 1971-December 1971
PMR/IBTA/1/3 January 1972-October 1972
PMR/IBTA/1/4 November 1972-May 1973
Pioneer Mill Stores/Inkerman Mill

PMR/IBTA/2/1 January 1973-July 1974
PMR/IBTA/2/2 August 1974-June 1977
PMR/IBTA/2/3 June 1976-November 1976
Pioneer Mill/Head Office

PMR/IBTA/3/1 April 1973-October 1973
PMR/IBTA/3/2 October 1973-March 1974
PMR/IBTA/3/3 March 1974-November 1974
PMR/IBTA/3/4 November 1974-March 1975
PMR/IBTA/3/5 March 1975-August 1975
PMR/IBTA/3/6 August 1975-December 1975
PMR/IBTA/3/7 December 1975-June 1976
PMR/IBTA/3/8 November 1976-April 1977
PMR/IBTA/3/9 June 1977-October 1977


Archive Location 277L

Government Enquiries/Commissions

1939 SUGAR ROYAL COMMISSION , into the establishment of mill quotas and peaks in production

PMR/COMM/1/1-2 Background notes for Pioneer Mill submissions to the commission
PMR/COMM/1/3-4 Minutes of local sub-committees, to determine a joint approach to the commission
PMR/COMM/1/5 Background notes for a Sugar Millers' deputation to the commission
PMR/COMM/1/6-8 Appeals against mill peaks allocated by the Royal Commission
1942 Sugar Royal Commission , into production methods, labour, costs, marketing, etc. - overall industry efficiency
PMR/COMM/2/1 Background notes for Pioneer Mill submissions to the commission
PMR/COMM/2/2 Appeals against decisions of the commission
1946 Royal Commission into Soldier Settlement in the Sugar Industry
 PMR/COMM/3/1 Background notes for Pioneer Mill submissions to the commission
1943 Tariff Board Enquiry , into sugar prices and industry cost and revenue structures
PMR/COMM/4/1 Notes on Pioneer Mill fixed assets - cost, additions, market value, etc. 1933-1942
PMR/COMM/4/2 Notes on Pioneer Mill expenses and revenue 1936-1938
PMR/COMM/4/3 Correspondence, minutes of sub-committee meetings, production statistics, etc.


Archive Location 277R

Sales Tax Records

PMR/SALTAX/1 Sales tax exemptions and classifications, January 1942- October 1950
PMR/SALTAX/2 Sales tax exemptions and classifications, April 1951-March 1954
PMR/SALTAX/3 Sales tax exemptions and classifications, 1948; supplementary rulings
PMR/SALTAX/4 Sales tax law, 1930-1938
PMR/SALTAX/5 Sales tax: official rulings, acts and regulations, 1932
PMR/SALTAX/6-7 Record of parts used in repairs to plant 1951-1953
PMR/SALTAX/8 Sales tax returns 1956 – 1960


Archive Location 278-284

Purchases Journal

Sub-divided for: Pioneer Mill, Inkerman Mill, General Stores

PMR/PJ/1 1941-1953
Ledger Account Books

PMR/LEDGER/1 General Ledger 1912-1928
PMR/LEDGER/2 Debtors Ledger 1959-1963
PMR/LEDGER/3 Personal Accounts 1912-1928
PMR/LEDGER/4 Current Accounts 1912-1928
PMR/LEDGER/5 Current Accounts 1935-1939
PMR/LEDGER/6 Nominal Accounts 1929
Debtors' Ledger ,
Creditors' Ledger 1953
PMR/LEDGER/7 Nominal Accounts 1934-1954 (Part Only)
PMR/LEDGER/8 Nominal Accounts 1959-1964
PMR/LEDGER/9 Nominal Farmers' Accounts (A-L) 1929-1938
PMR/LEDGER/10 Nominal Farmers' Accounts (M-Z) 1929-1938
PMR/LEDGER/11 Merchandise and sundry accounts, by farmer (all estates) 1944- 1956
PMR/LEDGER/12 Merchandise and sundry accounts, by farmer (all estates) 1947- 1961

Archive Location 281

Cash Payments Journal

PMR/CPJ/1 December 1936-January 1941
PMR/CPJ/2 February 1941-December 1950
PMR/CPJ/3 January 1951-December 1959
Head Office Cash Books

Contain payments for salaries, bank transfers, sales tax, payroll tax, dividends to shareholders, etc.

PMR/HOCB/1 1956
PMR/HOCB/2 1957
PMR/HOCB/3 1958

Crop Yield Estimates

Contain data on acres planted by each grower, estimated yields (April), revised estimates (November), actual yield and acres ploughed out.

PMR/YIELD/1 1937-1952
PMR/YIELD/2 1953-1973

Staff Purchases

Outlines amounts of merchandise, materials and molasses purchased by employees.

PMR/PURCH/1 1959-1964
PMR/PURCH/2 1965 – 1968 (missing?)
Cash Books

Contain details of receipts and payments and reconciliations with bank balances.

Pioneer Mill

PMR/CB/1 September 1914-May 1936
PMR/CB/2 June 1936-November 1944
PMR/CB/3 December 1944-September 1957

Inkerman Mill

PMR/CB/4 January 1956-December 1964

Private Cash Book

PMR/PRIVCB/1 January 1953-December 1959


Archive Location 283

Share Transfer Certificates

Share transfer certificates, completed upon each sale of stock in Pioneer Mills Limited.

PMR/SHARES/2 1961-1962
PMR/SHARES/3 1963 – 1964

?Cane Inspectors Reports

Contains weekly reports on: amounts of cane harvested-green , burnt, amounts of cane crushed, tonnages of lower quality

PMR/INSPECT/1 1952-1959 Pioneer
PMR/INSPECT/2 1952-1959 Inkerman
PMR/INSPECT/3 1961-1969 Pioneer
Australian National Power Alcohol Co. Pty. Ltd.

PMR/ANPA/1 proposed agreement 1926 and Articles of Association 1927
memorandum appointing the original Board of Directors 1928, Minutes of meetings, Financial statements 1938-1948,
Correspondence 1939-1946
PMR/ANPA/2 Minutes of meetings
Financial statements 1949-1951, Correspondence
PMR/ANPA/3 Minutes of meetings, Financial statements 1952-1971, Correspondence

Decisions by local cane prices boards on sugar prices, and workers' pay and conditions of employment.

Pioneer Mill

PMR/AWARD/1 1942-1944
PMR/AWARD/2 1943
PMR/AWARD/3 1948
PMR/AWARD/4 1949-1951
Inkerman Mill

PMR/AWARD/5 1939
PMR/AWARD/6 1942-1944

Archive Location 284

Leased Cane Farm Records

Ledgers of leaseholders' transactions

PMR/LCF/1 1931-1937
Lease Plans Tenant Farms

 Copies of lease plans

 PMR/LP/1 1935-1962
Archive Location 285

Central Sugar Cane Prices Board

Transcripts of hearings of the Board. See also documents at PMR/MISC/24.

PMR/SCP/1 March 1959
PMR/SCP/2 June-July 1959
PMR/SCP/3 March 1960
PMR/SCP/4 September 1960
PMR/SCP/5 February 1963
PMR/SCP/6 May 1963
PMR/SCP/7 June 1963
PMR/SCP/8 July 1963
PMR/SCP/9 January 1964
PMR/SCP/10 June 1964
PMR/SCP/11 June 1965
PMR/SCP/12 July 1965
PMR/SCP/13 February 1966
PMR/SCP/14 June 1966

Pioneer Stations Pty. Ltd.

This section includes documents relating to the Pastoral Division: Birralee Cattle Station, Weetalaba Cattle Station, Fig Tree Cattle Station, grazing activities at Pioneer and the tobacco farm at Pioneer.

PMR/PS/1 Correspondence 1962-1968 and Articles of Association 18 March 1965.
PMR/PS/2 Freehold grazing, lands and improvements 1938-1964 and description of titles. 12p.
PMR/PS/3 Report by G.W. McIlroy, Pastoral Inspector, on 'Birralee' and 'Lolworth', estate of late J. Longwill. 4 January 1957. 11p.
PMR/PS/4 Report on Pioneer and Collinsville properties by Student A.M. Cowie, June 1964; also report to Chairman by stud manager, 14 March 1968.
PMR/PS/5 Statement of movement of assets 1962-1963.
PMR/PS/6 Financial accounts, assets and stock, 1965.
PMR/PS/7 Projected results for year ended 31 December 1971.
PMR/PS/8 Time and wages book, Birralee Station. September 1967-May 1968.
PMR/PS/9 Valuation of cattle. December 1968-April 1969. 30p.
PMR/PS/10 Correspondence regarding business arising from reports and Directors' meetings. September 1970-March 1973.
PMR/PS/11 Agenda and paper for meeting of Directors, Number 7107, 12 July 1971. 33p.
PMR/PS/12 Notes from Directors' meetings, January-September 1972.
PMR/PS/13 Reports and procedures. 1973.

PMR/MAPS/1 Queensland Four Mile [map] Series 4M79 of Collinsville District, with shaded areas showing Birralee, Birralee West, Fig Tree, Weeralaba, Sphinx, Brad Park, Pyramid, Mount McConnell etc.
PMR/MAPS/2 Birralee West, showing named paddocks, river, stockyards.
PMR/MAPS/3 Birralee, showing dams, bores, named paddocks, fences etc.
PMR/MAPS/4 Weetalaba, showing dams, bores, named paddocks, fences etc.
PMR/MAPS/5 Jerona Holdings ... Department of lands Survey Office map ... Parish of Selkirk ... 1970.
PMR/MAPS/6-8 Jerona Holdings ... 3 copies, with varying annotations.
PMR/MAPS/9 Mount McConnell, showing bores, named paddocks, airstrips, homesteads, fences etc.
PMR/MAPS/10 Pioneer Stud, showing named paddocks and uses, water courses and drainage, dairy, fences etc.
PMR/MAPS/11 Birralee Holding, showing named paddocks, water courses, open forest, airstrip, homestead etc. 31 August 1964.
PMR/MAPS/12 Irrigation farm, showing named paddocks, tracks, pipe, fences, creeks etc.
PMR/MAPS/13 Bowen. Australia series 1:250,000 SF 55-3, Series R502, 1967.
PMR/MAPS/14 Mount Coolon, Australia series 1:250,000 SF55-7, Series R502, 1971.
PMR/MAPS/15 Aerial photograph of Ayr-Cape Upstart. Department of Mapping and Surveying, Photo Number 6185. 6 August 1979.
PMR/MAPS/16-18 Pioneer Sugar Estate, scale 20 chains to 1 inch. 3 copies, one showing proposed plantings for 1889, also for 1890 with cereal crops, the last map showing acreages only. All in fragile condition.
PMR/MAPS/19 Pioneer Mill electrical line diagram , mill and estate. C1292. 29 September 1966.
PMR/MAPS/20 Pioneer and Inkerman Sugar Mills: barracks , laundry , showers , toilets, scale 1 inch to 8 feet. Blueprint plus specifications (2p) and internal layout. 15 April 1965.
PMR/MAPS/21 Pioneer Sugar Mills: arrangement of proposed pan house. Number 356/PR (blueprint). 11 March 1952.
PMR/MAPS/22 Suggested new layout to managerial suite Pioneer office. Scale 3 inch to 1 foot. Drawing Number 314/20. 12 October 1966.
PMR/MAPS/23 Suggested new layout to managerial suite Burdekin office. Scale 3 inch to 1 foot. Drawing Number 314/21. 13 October 1966.
PMR/MAPS/24-26 2 unnamed maps and one untitled plan of a mill complex.


PMR/PHOTOS/1-3 Portraits - Sir Peter Roylance Delamothe
, Alexander Leslie Drysdale 1883, , William Maxwell Bell
PMR/PHOTOS/4-5 Descendants of James Morrill
PMR/PHOTOS/6 Mr. E.R. Behne (extract photograph) 1947-48
PMR/PHOTOS/7-10 - Gold Watch Group 1967
, Christmas Tree 1968 , Jack Edwards and R. Matthew, , Mill Workers 1969, , Safety Award Presentation 1969
PMR/PHOTOS/11-13 - Unidentified field workers
, Unidentified cane cutters
PMR/PHOTOS/14-18 - Pioneer Sugar Factory
, Pioneer Mill 1980 x 2, - Pioneer Mill, - Lower Burdekin Mills 1929
PMR/PHOTOS/19-22 - Early days Kanakas Huts
, Japanese and Kanaka Labourers 1890s
PMR/PHOTOS/23-25 - Dan McAllister with first motor lorry 1931
, first mobile circular saw 1934, - Mr. Mick Hook with cane wagons 1930, - manual cane cutters Airdale 1930
PMR/PHOTOS/26-28 - `McDesme' Loco 1955 with group of workers
, Mitchell Lathe 1957 with workers, - C.F. Eastwood 1954
PMR/PHOTOS/29-30 - Disk Plough 1920s
Cotton king, Moule board plough, - crushing mill, cane fields, cane train 1912, train crossing flooded Burdekin River 1920s
PMR/PHOTOS/31-32 - Ayr Railway Station C. 1920?
, Queen Street, Ayr C. 1920?
PMR/PHOTOS/33-34 - cane train/Kanakas 1901
, field operations 1918
PMR/PHOTOS/35-37 - War loan flag Queen Street, Ayr 1917
, V.A.O.C. [RAAF] girls visit Mill 1944, - Johnnie Johnson with Jack Edwards 1944
PMR/PHOTOS/38-39 Cane derrick and steel wheeled horse wagons
PMR/PHOTOS/40-41 - Early Moth plane 1922
, Irrigation on cane fields 1922
PMR/PHOTOS/42-43 - Badilla Sugar Cane
, Swans on Pioneer Lagoon 1951
PMR/PHOTOS/44-45 - Old rail bridge after 1933 flood
, The new Burdekin Bridge
PMR/PHOTOS/46-47 - Peller Pump 1956
, `Klondyke' Loco 1960 (off rails) Keith Peach and Jim, Chalmers
PMR/PHOTOS/48-50 - Canecutters 1942
, Canecutter 1947, - loading cane 1954
PRM/PHOTOS/51-54 - Plan Burdekin River 1863
, Plan Airdmillan, KALAMIA and Seaforth estates, - Plan Pioneer Estate 1888, - Plan irrigation areas 1954
PMR/PHOTOS/55-56 - farmers advertisement (machinery) 1917 and 1900
PMR/PHOTOS/57-63 - extracts from Journals containing information on the
Burdekin 1890s, 1920s, 1930s, 1950s and 1980s
PMR/PHOTOS/64-68 [21 extracts from works reports, cane delivery books, stores,
financial records and wages records between 1897 and 1926
PMR/PHOTOS/69-70 - Japanese graves
, extracts of Japanese labour contracts 1897
PMR/PHOTOS/71 - sale of livestock 1901 and 1906 extracts
PMR/PHOTOS/72-74 - correspondence RE: proposal to erect Sugar Mill 1910
, correspondence Drysdale to Tullis 1900, - correspondence various (5) 1884 to 1908
PMR/PHOTOS/75 Dr. Arthur Drysdale 1852-1936 (framed portrait)
PMR/PHOTOS/76 G.R. Ashwell (framed portrait)