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History Timeline

The Empire Grows

The Amatikulu Sugar Mill was opened in 1907, crushing some 7 000 tons of cane in its first season. As cane supplies grew, 11 000 tons of sugar were produced in 1911, in line with its design capacity. The opening of the Amatikulu Sugar Mill, which proved to be highly successful, was followed by the establishment of the Felixton Sugar Mill on the Mhlatuze River, with a capacity of 35 tons of cane per hour compared with that of Amatikulu of some 30 tons of cane per hour.

In 1910 the decision was made to establish a large central refinery in Durban to process the raw sugar from not only the Hulett mills but from other mills in the sugar industry. Thus, in a period from 1903 to 1911, a scant eight years - Sir Liege had expanded the company to the extent of having erected four major sugar mills, built a large central refinery and had continued to operate and expand a very profitable tea estate with two factories.

He had been largely responsible for the extension of the Government railroad from Verulam to Stanger and then preceding the settlement of farmers in Zululand, he had been instrumental in taking the railroad further into Zululand. In addition, he had developed his own private railway line from Stanger to Kearsney. This railway line was constructed for a total cost of some 18 500 pounds which included all the station buildings, houses, engines, rolling stock and fencing. The line from Stanger was brought into being for the conveyance of supplies from the coast to the tea factories and also for the transport of finished goods, as well as farm produce, to the railhead.

It was also during this period that Sir Liege had moved from Kearsney to his home Manor House in Durban and that his eldest son, A S L Hulett, had succeeded him as the Managing Director of the company.