Harold Bonanno.
Harold Bonanno.

Bundy farmer led cane industry through turbulent times

THE life of sugar industry leader Harold Bonanno, who died earlier this month, will be celebrated at his funeral tomorrow.

Known as Harry, the 88-year-old has been described as strong man and one of the greats after leading the sugarcane industry for almost 40 years.

From 1989-2001, Mr Bonanno led Canegrowers and served as the chairman of Canegrowers Isis from 1973-2001.

Canegrowers chairman Paul Schembri said the industry was mourning the loss of Mr Bonanno.


Gavin Peterson joined Harry Bonanno and Morrie Strano at the Woodgate Club on Sunday to celebrate Harry's 80th birthday. 

BIT harry(a) 1401. Photo: KEN SMITH.
ONE OF THE GREATS: Gavin Peterson joined Harry Bonanno and Morrie Strano at the Woodgate Club to celebrate Harry's 80th birthday in 2010. Ken Smith

Mr Schembri will deliver a eulogy at Mr Bonanno's funeral in Childers tomorrow.

"Harry Bonanno was a strong and resolute leader of cane growers for 37 years through a period of great social, political and economic change and challenge for our industry," Mr Schembri said.

"He never failed to stand up for Queensland's 6000 cane growers.

"During the 1990s he helped the industry increase production by nearly 40 per cent while also negotiating the challenges of increased environmental scrutiny and deregulation.

"Mr Bonanno's vision and capacity to see the big picture played a major part in laying the foundation of our modern sugarcane industry."


Anne Portess and Harry Bonanno at the Woodgate RSL dinner. BIT soc(j) 1811. Photo:GARY HUTCHISON.
ONE OF THE GREATS: Harry Bonanno is being remembered for his work as a leader in the sugar industry.

Mr Bonanno represented growers on the boards of the Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations, the forerunner to Sugar Research Australia, Sugar Terminals Limited and the Queensland Sugar Board.

He was also a vice-president of the National Farmers' Federation and a vice-president of the World Association of Beet and Cane Growers.

His funeral will be at 11am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Childers.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral service prior to a family interment.