MILESTONE:  The Gympie Times  General Manager Tracey McKean , former long-term employee Jim Saunders and Editor Shelley Strachan cut the delicious 150th anniversary white chocolate mud cake yesterday made by Jessie & Co, the flowers by Branch & Blossom.
MILESTONE: The Gympie Times General Manager Tracey McKean , former long-term employee Jim Saunders and Editor Shelley Strachan cut the delicious 150th anniversary white chocolate mud cake yesterday made by Jessie & Co, the flowers by Branch & Blossom. Renee Albrecht

150 years fighting for this region

AS THE celebrations for The Gympie Times' 150th birthday kicked on well into yesterday afternoon, for some of the paper's longest serving and dedicated staff members, it was an opportunity to reflect on their time at an organisation that has always put the interests of the Gympie region first.

Between them, former editors Michael Roser and Nev McHarg logged nearly a century of editorial news experience at The Gympie Times.

They, along with past photographers, journalists and administrators, joined current staff at the The Gympie Times Nash St office to mark the paper's sesquicentennial anniversary.

Mr Roser and Mr McHarg, who served 21 and 47 years respectively, said the paper's mandate of campaigning for the town was its point of difference. While the opportunity to be the voice of the local community kept them going for decades.

"Gympie has always been a close-knit town," Mr Roser said.

"You didn't have the pressures of providing the international or national news.

"All the people wanted was the local news.

"Local content was king.

"It still is and it always will be, regardless of the platform you are using, whether it be social media or print.

"Gympie people are so loyal to the paper," he said.

For Mr Roser, it was the opportunity to fight the Queensland government over the controversial Traveston dam project that defined his time at The Gympie Times.

"We were always very parochial, and incredibly supportive of Gympie," he said.

"If it wasn't for The Gympie Times the Mary Valley would be under water and there would be a highway through the Southside.

"These were campaigns we ran and we felt they were right.

"We had to say (these things) were wrong for Gympie and that was the stand we made."

For Mr McHarg, who took over as editor from Mr Roser in 2007, it was the opportunity to work closely with the local community that inspired him to campaign relentlessly during the Traveston dam saga.

"You can never forget your local community and you have to remain on that footing," Mr McHarg said.

"You have to remain loyal and true to what news is. We ran several successful campaigns and we were setting the agenda," he said.

 

To celebrate the 150 year anniversary of The Gympie Times, a special collectors edition bronze coin will be available to our print readers. Simply collect five different tokens published between tomorrow and Friday, March 2, 2018. To redeem, bring your tokens into The Gympie Times office at 44 Nash St Gympie.

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