Overview of the Sunshine Harvester Works' canteen
Year established: 1956
The Sunshine Harvester Works' factory featured several lunch rooms scattered across the sprawling site. In 1945, the company introduced a Luncheon Service where workers could place their lunch orders and the food was then delivered to them.
In 1956, the company opened a formal canteen as part of the new showroom and office complex located on the corner of Devonshire and Burma Roads.
The canteen's layout represented the hierarchical nature of company life. Only office staff were allowed to eat in the canteen which featured two sections. The main area was used by office staff and included a long table with silver service for managers. The second section was a dining room reserved for company directors and their invited guests, including factory foremen and sub-foremen. The Dining Room was used by the company's social clubs for special functions such as Christmas parties and foremen's dinners.
Meals supplied in the canteen were fully subsidised by the company. Massey-Ferguson (Australia) managed the canteen until the mid-1970s when it was contracted to a local caterer.
The dining room was managed by Mabel Chigwiden and Joyce Wright, both of whom had over 25 years of experience working for the Sunshine Harvester Works.
- Sunshine Review 1945, 'Luncheon Service Arrangements', vol. 2, no. 3, pp.4.
- Ray Browne and Ken Porter (former Sunshine Harvester Works employees), personal recollections held at Museum Victoria, March 2000.
- Interview with Jim Learmonth by Liza Dale-Hallett, 10 January 2006. Recording held at Museum Victoria, registration no. HT 33604.