IF you have driven down Old Landsborough Road between Beerwah and Landsborough you may have noticed Greber Road, named after the man known as the founder of the Australian macadamia industry, Norman Rae Greber.
In 1917, aged 15, Norman left his home near Ballina in northern NSW and joined his brother who was farming in Montville, before relocating to a property at Amamoor near Gympie in 1919.
He went on to buy 40 acres (16ha) of scrub, which he cleared by hand. In the 1920s he searched for thin-shelled nuts from macadamia trees and planted 500 seedlings on his Amamoor farm.
By the end of the decade, with 1,000 trees, he continued to refine his grafting techniques and became the first Australian to graft macadamias for commercial production.
In 1951, Norman relocated to 33 acres (6ha) of flat land at Pine Camp Road, Beerwah.
The sugar company CSR bought most of his land in 1963 and engaged him for the next 11 years to train its staff in growing and grafting.
On Australia Day 1993 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM). Norman died later that year.
Information sourced from a research article created by members of the Glasshouse History Group Inc.
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