Originally Posted by Don Lucas
for the rest of us, what does "banana bender" mean
As a professional ex Banana Bender I believe I can take the liberty to explain further by reposting some information that I originally posted back in July 08 on another thread. While this may break several CF rules, I suspect it will as interesting as much of this thread
For the record
is has been many decades since Queenslanders bent bananas only when they had nothing better to do. It is not like that any more.
Although I have left the trade
due to "bend out" which is a type of workplace stress (I am officially classed as "bent out"), my family
is still bending as they have for generations.
The first bananas were bent in the late 19th century and soon became very popular all around the world. Right though to the 1950's almost all bent bananas originated from Queensland. However the demand out grew the supply and even with the benders working 24/7, the demand could not be met. Then came the machine bent banana, this alleviated the supply problem for some years although the best bends were (and still are) the hand bends. Queensland hand bent bananas still command premium prices on the world banana markets.
Around 1970, an act of parliment was ammended that allowed the export of the bending technology and the worldwide bent banana crisis was over.
More recent developments include GM bent bananas where selected benders donated their genes to be spliced into the actual banana trees - the so called "smart banana". These have taken off like wildfire and can be found growing in most tropical anchorages
of the world.
What has this got to do with cruising you ask. Well look at it this way, part of cruising is the travelling to new destinations, meeting the locals and getting to know the local traditions. As Queensland is a popular cruising destination
(like the Great Barrier Reef), I feel it is helpful for visting sailors to know some of the history
of this fascinating place. Most Queenslanders never give this aspect of their history
a second thought and like myself, would never think to mention it at all. I think it would be fair to say that most of you who have sailed in Queensland waters would not have heard any of this before.
That is, until Gord posted some basic information here on CF. Even noonsite (or wikipedia) does not carry this amount of detail.
Very few people eat straight bananas anywhere anymore - all thanks to the early Queenslanders who had nothing better to do with their time.
In that respect, I am still carrying on that great tradition - now back to boat refit
and solvent fumes .