McMiles family dedicates 183 years to CBH
In 1975, John ‘Putty’ McMiles started working for CBH as a Receival Point Operator at Bilbarin.
Little did he know, he would kickstart a McMiles family legacy spanning four generations.
At least 17 members of the McMiles clan have since worked for CBH, collectively dedicating 183 years to the co-op.
But with the challenges of record-keeping over a 90-year history, coupled with name changes, these numbers could be even greater.
Today, four family members remain at CBH, including John, who is now a Gang Truck Driver at Koorda.
“I’ve done about four separate stints with CBH over the years, so about 24 harvests across about eight different sites,” John said.
Now, John is busy moving gear like bobcats and tarps across the state – a far cry from his early years with the co-op.
“I used to use the Clarke-shovel to manually load grain onto trains,” John said.
“Me and two other blokes were loading about 290 tonnes of grain onto the trains each day.
“It was good fun – we were young and fit.”
John McMiles (centre) with Jaylon Chief Executive Stephen Lloyd (left) and Jaylon Factory Manager Nizam Yatiha (right) with the 50,000th tarp the company has produced for CBH since 1993.
In the early 1980s, John was joined by his younger brothers Kevin, Grant and Vernon.
After a nudge from his brothers, Vernon started working as a harvest casual in Corrigin when he was just 17 years old.
“In a way, I guess we have all influenced each other to work at CBH,” Vernon said.
“The seasonal work was fun, hard work, but good money.
“And if you work hard for CBH, it allowed you to progress your career. It did for me, and I can’t thank them enough.”
Vernon worked for CBH for 27 years in various roles from Receival Point Operator through to Health and Safety Coordinator at Head Office.
The thing he loved the most was the friendships he made along the way.
“It’s hard to put into words, but back in the 80s and 90s ‘CBH Corrigin’ was more like a team of close friends.”
L-R: Jody McMiles, Christie Parsons and Rikki McMiles at the CBH Delhi Gift in 2013.
Working at CBH today is John and his nieces Jody McMiles (Area 4 Manager), Rikki McMiles (Senior Quality Specialist), and Sarah John (Receival Point Operator in Area 13).
Most of the McMiles family hails from Corrigin, where many started with CBH working on the bins over harvest.
Jody McMiles, who has now worked 20 harvests with CBH, said: “We are not from a farm, so with limited job options in country towns, CBH was, and still is, a key employer.”
“For many of us, we’ve done a few harvests, gone off and done something else, then come back when the opportunity arose.”
Jody’s cousin, Rikki, is currently based at the Australian Grains Centre in the Country Quality team and has worked 10 harvests with CBH.
“I love that every day is different in my role which allows me to travel to different sites and meet lots of different people,” Rikki said.
A big thank you to the McMiles family for your significant contribution to the co-op and for sharing your story as part of our 90-year anniversary!