For a century, the Imlay plant has been processing meat on the same premises in Heads Rd.
It has changed a little over the 100 years and there are no original buildings left, but its purpose remains and it is still Whanganui's largest seasonal employer.
All good reasons to celebrate the century with a weekend of events.
When Midweek visited last week, the last of the original buildings, the fellmongery, was being scraped into disposable piles and the plant's aspect has changed forever since this reporter walked the cooling floor in white gumboots and hard hat more than 40 years ago.
Many thousands of people have worked at Imlay since its first day of operation and organisers are hoping a good number will want to catch up with old friends over the Saturday to Monday of November 12-14.
As well as the stories to be told, there is a fat photo album of memories reaching far into the past and featuring many of the people who worked at the plant.
Many of the very early shots were taken by celebrated early Whanganui photographer, Frank Denton (1869-1963).
Many of the more modern photos were taken by former employee Ann Kennedy.
Brian Cadogan, Imlay's longest serving manager (1967-1991) will be there, as will many others from various eras of the plant's operation. Brian will address the gathering.
Long-time employee Geoff Sarginson and Brian Cadogan have been driving forces behind the reunion.
"A lot of memorabilia came out of the woodwork five years ago," says one of the organisers, Nadine Perry. "Gail [Taylor] and Guddy [Graeme Gudsell, plant accountant], organised the 95-year reunion in 2011. People were coming in and dropping stuff off that we could use on the day and a lot of it was really quite random."
One item was a concrete core from a hole drilled in the slaughter floor many years ago, says Gail. Other things found their way back to Imlay at the same time.
The centenary reunion consists of an informal get-together on Saturday, November 12, at Hatrick Raceway in Sarjeant St, at which finger food will be provided. The bar will be open and drinks can be purchased. People must register. Attendees are welcome to stay on and purchase a meal.
On Sunday, November 13 from 11am until 2pm, is a family day for current employees. A barbecue lunch will be held at the plant.
On Monday, from 10am until noon, there will be plant tours for invited guests and past staff with an official luncheon for invited guests.
Imlay is still going strong with current staff numbering about 560, says Graeme, who has been working on the Imlay site for 33 years.
- Numbers are essential, so to register for any part of the reunion ring the main office on 349 2400 or email email@example.com Registrations close at 4pm on Friday, November 4.