Mackay makes special rum for Japanese sister city

A seriously smooth drop from Sarina’s own Sugar Shed distillery will travel to Matsuura, Japan this week.

The limited batch rum will be hand delivered by Mackay’s citizens on their special anniversary tour from Friday, December 6, to Monday, December 9.

The 500ml rum bottles will be given as gifts to the Japanese dinner hosts with a 700ml bottle to be presented by Mayor Greg Williamson to Matsuura mayor Yoshiyasu Tomoda.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the rum had been released to celebrate 30 years of Mackay and Matsuura’s Sister City relationship.

“The Sugar Shed Rum will be presented at a formal dinner in Matsuura on Sunday (December 8),” Cr Williamson said.

“The dinner will follow a ceremony where the people of Matsuura will unveil a 30th anniversary memorial feature,” he said.

“To be honest, we have no idea what the feature will be – they’re keeping it a surprise.”

Sarina Sugar Shed distiller and acting coordinator Steve Magarry said the three-year-aged rum was a great gift as it offered a taste of our region.

“The multi-award-winning rum is made with a high-quality sugar syrup base and barrel-matured here in the tropics, resulting in a very distinctive flavour,” Mr Magarry said.

“Our provenance and sugar cane industry heritage within this rum capture the heart and soul of the Mackay region,” he said.

Our citizen delegates will also be taking over a one-of-a-kind quilt created by some talented locals.

Cr Williamson said the quilt’s creation was spearheaded by three local textile artists – Cherie Lund, Steph Allen and Deb O’Shea.

“This artwork is reflective of things we celebrate about our region – the lemon-myrtle flower, the Ulysses butterfly, the Eungella rainforest, the idyllic coast line of Mackay and the surrounding islands,” he said.

“Post-card-size pieces of fabric were contributed by many different artists and community groups, so this is a true community project.

“The top banner was completed by local Indigenous young person – Jasper Steindl-Corrie.

“And Jasper was mentored by senior Indigenous artist Charlie Wicking.”

The delegation of 25 Mackay citizens, including Mayor Greg Williamson, Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert, Cr Karen May and Cr Fran Mann, will depart Mackay tomorrow, Wednesday, December 4, and will return Tuesday, December 10.