Gympie Times ‘vital’, the eyes, ears and voice of region
Message from former Gympie and Cooloola mayor Mick Venardos
WITH many others I express grave disappointment and sadness on hearing of the cessation of our local (print) newspaper.
The Gympie Times, as is the nature of all local newspapers, continually tests the pulse of its community and becomes its eyes, ears and voice.
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On a personal note: In 1965 I arrived in Gympie with Tina and our sons – Emmaniol and Angelo. My first contact with this august newspaper was to promote my family owned Olympia Theatre and later the Scottish Drive-in. The Gympie Times was vital to the success of my theatres.
This paper continued to prove the worth of the printed word when in 1970 I was elected to the Gympie City Council as an Alderman. In 1976 I was elected Mayor and remained in office until 1988. In 1997 I was then elected Mayor of the Cooloola Shire until 2008.
During my 29 years in council I found journalists to be highly ethical who reported events without fear or favour and overall The Gympie Times to be unbiased; fair and balanced, although on occasions there were stinging criticisms and robust debate. Not forgetting the lampooning in the feature cartoons.
Since James Nash discovered gold in 1868 the news of the new gold filed, the gold rush attracted thousands of miners and people from all over Australia and the world. This gold rush and the wealth it created put Gympie in a position to become famously known and recognised as the town that saved Queensland from bankruptcy.
In 1913 the town of Gympie, through the auspices of our local newspaper, The Gympie Times, was raised to the dignity of a city. That designation is still being worn very proudly. Another claim to our fame is that the city of Gympie is the smallest city in Queensland.
It is always interesting to hear from locals who travel around our great nation that some people they meet lay claim to a connection with our Golden City – with through ancestry or previous residency. Such is the magic of Gympie.
It is inevitable that local newspaper in regional Australia – those controlled by large conglomerates – could not withstand or compete against the advance of modern technology and all different forms of social media. Managers, editors, journalists and staff; past and present carried out their responsibly and professionally.
The Gympie Times over the 150 plus years together with generations of advertisers, other contributors and readers has been hugely successful in moulding the continuing development and prosperity of Gympie – The Golden City and its region. I wish and hope that all still connected with The Gympie Times fare well into the future.