-by Audrey Hurst, former Banner reporter
WOW!!!! 140 years of celebrating the lives and times of Dimboola and district people, the good times and bad, the happy and sad times.
Nowadays all crammed into a weekly eight plus page newspaper, that residents eagerly await the arrival of every Wednesday afternoon.
The Banner has received many media awards, including a media award from Keep Victoria Beautiful and recognition by the Victorian Country Press for advertising by valued customers in Dimboola.
Highlights were many, and for many years staff organised Clean up Australia Day.
Jessica Jepson organised a Leukaemia Foundation World’s Greatest Shave day and residents had their hair dyed outside the Old Shire Hall. Donations were forwarded to the Foundation. What fun that was.
Staff participated in Dimboola’s 150th celebration street parade as Mr and Mrs Banner.
Many advertising and community features appeared in the pages over the years, including the official opening of the Science Wing and Health and Fitness Centre at DMSC; 130 years of Dimboola Banner was a big event, with our long time avid readers there to help celebrate; Des Lardner’s Pharmacy birthday celebrations; Lions Christmas Street Carnival; Saxton Rural opening; Dimboola’s Annual Show; Rowing Club Regatta and lots more.
I valued my workmates, as friends and colleagues, Keith Jones, Jean Clarke, Bonnie Clark, Joe Barry, Stuart Watson (all deceased), Nerada Watson, Jenny Stewart and David Ward, Andrew Ward and Scott Stewart. Thank you all for making my working days so memorable.
Well done to Chris Johnson for taking over the helm and keeping the residents informed on the daily happenings in and around Dimboola, Keep up the good work.
FACT::DEADLINE (8 LETTER WORD)
Meaning – “The latest time by which something should be completed.”
A word that most journalists do not like when trying to finish a paper in time to go to print.
Especially not liked when waiting for contributors to meet the deadline and they are late.
Many phone calls and emails go out, but eventually all is well and the newspaper always hits the street on publication day, sometimes a bit later than expected.
After sending the makeup pages to Horsham to be printed, picking up the newspaper off the afternoon passenger train.
Rush to get to the Jeparit school bus so as busdriver could deliver papers to Jeparit Newsagency.
My job took me into many different situations, some good, some not good.
Following the Fire Brigade truck after the siren had sounded to hopefully report on where and what the emergency was.
I was always apprehensive on these occasions because of the fear of the unknown (never knew what had happened until you got there).
Reporting on milestones was wonderful. One of my favourites was Denis and Shirley Launer’s Wedding Anniversary at their home.
C.W.A. birthdays were exciting events as was the opening of the Bendigo Bank.
New preps at the schools loved to have their photo in the “Banner”.
I took a photo of a Japanese man pulling a cart on 3rd November 2011. Masahito Yoshida was walking the highway near Wail overpass and said he was on his way to Darwin and would be there by February 12th. Since that date he has completed walking around the world on foot, he has walked 77500 kilometres across 57 countries and worn out 21 pairs of shoes.
At present he is walking in Japan, where he will attend a launch of a book of his travels. I have followed him on Social Media.
I loved to do funny fillers, even now, everywhere I go, and I see a storyline. A couple of years ago on a country road, I came across the “Hungry Caterpillar” made from hay bales, just leaning over a farm gate. You may have seen it in the Weekly Times.
Lastly I would just like to remember Joe Barry, he and I became great mates over the years working together. He could tell some “ripper” yarns, some hard to believe and his Town Topics column was very popular with local readers.
I officially started work at the Dimboola Banner in 1986, before then helped proof read and wrapped papers for posting when the staff were busy.
Painted the Office with Jean Clarke, both of us sitting up on the top shelves to reach up to paint the ceiling. Wouldn’t be able to do that in today’s world.
Time after time, drive to Horsham to have the paper printed and get it back to Dimboola. Sometimes the photos were not ready so had to place them onto the layout before printing commenced. Gratitude to the print staff at the Wimmera Mail Times for their help and co-operation.
Nhill Free Press also had a hand in printing the paper as sometimes when Dimboola’s phototype setter broke down, and the deadline was imminent, we would travel to Nhill to finish copy.
Usually the part in the phototype setter that let us down was only worth a few dollars, but the technician came from Ferntree Gully, and had to pay for travel, making it a very expensive exercise. Typically the machine would always break down on a Monday morning.
MR and MRS BANNER
Funny thing happened on the way to the Post Office!
I was ready for the 150th Dimboola Street Parade, so to pass the time, I walked from the Banner office down the street to the Post Office.
The street was quite empty as everyone was getting ready for the parade.
As I got closer, a local stopped me and asked “Are you from Country Press?”
Must have been unrecognisable, as they didn’t know who I was, but thought I was a reporter from out of town.
What a laugh!!