Sinclair & Ethel Robinson

Sinclair & Ethel Robinson

"Sinclair Robinson, former manager of Kauai’s Gay & Robinson Sugar Plantation from 1912 until 1964 -- 52 years -- oversaw the Hawaii sugar plantation longer than anyone in the history of Hawaii’s sugar industry.

He passed away in 1964; Ethel in 1966.

When asked at age 76, in 1962, whether he ever planned to retire, he said simply, 'Gay & Robinson has no forced retirement program.'

Robinson was born at Makaweli in 1886, educated at Harvard and worked as a field luna at O‘ahu Sugar Co. and as assistant manager at Gay & Robinson before assuming the post of manager.

He said that in the old days at Gay & Robinson, sugar was bagged and put onto interisland steamers anchored off the old Makaweli landing. Later, a railroad connected Makaweli to Port Allen and bagged sugar was transported there, where it was placed aboard freighters for shipment to San Francisco. In contrast, the company’s bulk sugar is transported by truck to Nawiliwili and loaded aboard a freighter."

"In days gone by, he has said much work was done on contract or piecework basis, which increased wages above the basic pay by about $1 per day.

Field workers worked 10-hour days, six days a week, and most walked to their jobs from their homes in nearby camps scattered about the plantation.

'The plantation day of early periods started with the mill whistles blowing at 4:30 a.m. Workers were on their way shortly after 5:30 a.m. A break for breakfast and lunch was taken and the work day ended at 4:30 p.m. Horses were the means of transportation for lunas, field superintendents and managers,' Robinson said.

Sinclair Robinson was active in community affairs. He and his wife, Ethel Glade Robinson, had four children: Jean (Weir), Marion (Keat), Ruth (LeFiell) and Russell Robinson."

by Hank Soboleski

The Garden Island

Copyright © 2007, Lee Enterprises, Inc.

The Sinclair & Ethel Robinson Family

Family portrait taken in the living room at Pakala the summer of 1954.

Back row (left to right): Russell S. Robinson, Ruth R. Robinson, John & Marion R. Keat, Bob Weir.

Middle row: Phyllis Robinson with the newborn Pamela, Randy Weir, Sinclair Robinson, Alice Jean Robinson, Ethel Robinson, Jean Weir and Judy Weir.

Front row: Philip Keat, Jack Keat and Kathy Weir.

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