The sad start of the end of Hammond Cedar mill happened Friday as up to 50 workers put in their last shift.
Owner Interfor announced in September it will be closing the mill, which has operated at the site for more than a century. Interfor will be selling the 28-acre property located in Maple Ridge on the banks of the Fraser River near the Golden Ears Bridge.
The last log.
Posted by Ian MacKinnon on Friday, September 27, 2019
With the mill now entering the clean-up phase, processing of raw logs has now also stopped. Mill worker Ian MacKinnon was on shift Friday to watch the last log being loaded on to the cut-off saw. He videod it and posted it on Facebook as a testament to the end of an icon in Maple Ridge.
The video drew many comments from those sad to see the end of an era. “My dad’s old job was the cut-off saw in the mill. It’s so sad to see,” said Cristie Priest.
“This is so sad. I feel so bad for these amazing employees,” added Gary Heichert.
Other comments wondered how the closure happened with one noting that if stumpage fees were reduced, it could harm trade relations with the U.S.
MacKinnon though said U.S. tariffs on Canadian lumber are another reason for the closure of the mill.
The company and union recently completed a closure agreement, which union local president Al Bieksa said will support them well as they transition into other work.