Benning History

In the 1940s, two major world events, World War II and Partition (the separation of British India into India and Pakistan which resulted in the division of the Punjab), had a significant effect on these Punjabi sons and ultimately led to their settlement in the Woolgoolga-Coffs Harbour area.

Moti Singh (Grandfather of Jusbinder (Jas) and Tarlochan (Bob) Benning) was considered to be one of a small group of Punjabi to arrive in the area first.

In 1943 Moti, worked for Billy Richards. Moti then travelled down to Coffs Harbour, passing through Woolgoolga. Moti lived at Bruxner Park with his son. He planted beans and would drive into Coffs Harbour with his horse drawn cart and sell them.

After moving from the area Moti Singh, with his sons Charlie and Kabul (Father of Jas & Bob) returned to the Clarence in 1952 to cut cane. They also came to Woolgoolga and worked for the Newmans and Unwins. During this time, they leased a plantation in Greys Road.

In the 1950s the Punjabi people continued to cut cane in Harwood and MacLean until the 1970s while starting to grow bananas in Woolgoolga and Coffs Harbour areas.

After completing his High School education Tarlochan Benning began his work on the family Banana Farm while older brother Jusbinder travelled to university and completed a Degree in Civil Engineering. On completion of Jusbinder’s Degree he returned home to work in the families Banana Farm.

With the retirement of Kabul, his sons Jas and Bob took over the running of the family farm.

In 1998, Jusbinder and Tarlochan contemplated the idea of Blueberries. Planting two small plots in Holloways Road the brothers have expanded their farms which now consists of 6 farms, with a total land size of 2,800 acres, producing approx. 750,000 trays per annum and employee over 200 local residents and 200 backpackers during havest.