SOUTH AUSTRALIAN JOURNALISM.
DEPARTURE OF MR. J. HARVEY FINLAYSON.
An important change in the history of "The Register" and its associated news papers occurs to-day with the departure from Adelaide of Mr. John Harvey Finlay-
son, who, after a long and honourable ca- reer as editor, has relinquished his onerous duties in the office in order that he may take up his residence in London, where he hopes still to render service both to the journals which he has conducted and to the province of which he is proud to be a na- tive. It is needless— indeed, it would be in vain to attempt to detail the service - Mr. Finlayson as the controller of the old- est and leading paper in the colony, has rendered to all classes of the community. In the forefront he has placed the agricul- tural and pastoral interests for whose prosperity he has laboured incessantly and wholeheartedly. In every way possible, t- ??. "'The Register" has sought to encour- age legitimate mining, and to foster indus- tries suitable to the conditions of the coun- try. In the causes of public education and liberal political reforms there has been no wanting for an indication of the sentiments of the newspaper readers. 'The Register' may fairly claim to have been an initiator and an instructor. Charitable and religions enterprises and other movements having for their object the betterment of the con- ditions of the people, have never failed to secure sympathy and earnest support. Manly sports of all descriptions have ever had 'The Register's patronage and cor- dial co-operation. In a word, the Editor has striven loyally and faithfully to per- form useful missions for all classes. Mr. Finlayson is of Scotch extraction. and his parents, the late venerable and highly esteemed Pastor William Finlayson and his wife (nee Miss Helen Harvey) arrived in South Australia in February, 1837. He was born at Helenholme, Mitcham, on Feb ruary 3, 1843, and received his education at Mr. J. L. Young's school. The future Editor entered 'The Register" Office in 1861, and at once gave evidence of marked ability. He proved successful as a law re- porter, as a Parliamentary reporter— he had charge of the Parliamentary staff for several years— and as a general reporter, showing not only ability, but energy and application, without which ability has not its full value. The progress he made was unusually rapid, and before he had reached the 33rd year of his age he had on diffe- rent occasions exetending over some m-mtli?. while the late Mr. John Howard Clark was laid aside by illness, dis- charged the duties of Editor in a manner which won the entire con- fidence of the proprietors. In 1876 Mr. Finlayson represented 'The Register' at the Philadelphia Exhibition and forwarded across the Pacific for the enlightenment of rising young South Australia a vast amount of interesting and valuable commercial and industril information from the New World. During his trip, which was ex- tended to England and the Continent, he organized a staff of distinguished foreign correspondents on behalf of this paper. Amongst appointments which he made were those of Mr. W. L Alden of the 'New York Times, and Mr. W. iknttie King- ston, the well-known correspondent of the ??niiil Telegraph of Berlin. Representa- tives of high literary attainments were no- minated in Paris, Rome and Constanti- nople. At the sime time in every Austra- lian capital the best available writer was secured to supply the readers of "The Re- gister" with corrrespondence. Upon his return to the colony Mr. Finlayson intro- duced several new features into the paper, affording special facilities to capable local writers to contribute articles on literary, scientific, and other subjects, and the suc- cess of his regime is sufficiently attested by the high status of 'The Register'' amongst metropolitan journals. Two years later he was installed in the Editor's sanctum, and with the exception of two intervals, during which he paid visits to England, he has continued up to the present to direct the literary business of the paper. Outride his newspaper work Mr. Finlayson has filled many public positions. He was for years a member of the North Adelaide School Board of Advice, and is a member of the Council of the South Australian Acclima- tization Society. He was one of the Com- missioners of the Adelaide 4i-)irlee Exhibi- tion of 1887. and assisted t»r represent the colony in connection with the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition of 1888. While in England last year he represented South Australia at the fourth International Con- gress of Zoologists held at Cambridge. He took a great interest in the Children's Christmas Cheer move- ment which was inaugurated in 'The Register' and has been up to the present Chairman of the Distressed Karmew* SK.-i-Trheat Fund, also founded by that journal. In March. 1878, he married Miss Alice Shoobridge. daughter of Mr. Thomas Shoobridge, and a son and daughter have been born to them. In social circles, and as an active and cheerful worker in the cause of philanthropy and a member of the State Childrens Council, Mrs. Finlayson has earned the affectionate regard of large numbers of people, and her departure from the colony will be sitn-f n-ly regretted. 'The Register'— whki'i will henceforth be edited by Mr. W. J. Sowden, who filled the post of acting Editor during Mr. Fin- layson's recent absence in England— has had a career to which for variety of ex periences «orm and --tre*-. steady ad- vancement. and eventual prosperity— few other journals can provide a parallel. The first number was published in London by the proprietors Robert Thomas and George Stevenson on June 18. 1836. It is therefore, with few exceptions, the oldest newspaper in the Southern Hemisphere. In its early youth it was subject to many vicissitudes,. but in the til ties the property which then included 'The Adelaide Obser- ver was purchased by Messrs A. Forster, H. W. Andrewa, W. Kyffin Thomas, and J. Fisher, and thenceforward its success was assured. Mr. Foster became Editor, and amongst his eoad jutor* were Dr. Garran. Mr. J. P. Barrow. and Mr. W. R. Whit- ridge. In N'ovember. 1854, steam power was substituted for manual in printing the papers, and in 1860 the proprietors impor ted a gasmaking machine for the illumina- tion of the office in Grenfell-street, before the Gas Company began operations. In 1864 Mr. Forster retired from the proprie- tory, going to England, where he published an excellent 'History of South Australia.' and was followed in retirement next year Mr .J. Fisher, who sold his interest to Mr. John Howard Clark, who subse- quently became Editor. In 1868 'Tlie Evening Journal' was first issued, and was aj. iwitr a great success. ln 1877 Mr. K. W. Andrews died, and Messrs. C. Day. J. H Finlayson. and R. K. Thomas were admit- ted to partnership in the business. The death of Mr. Clark occurred in May. 1878. and Mr. Finlayson, who for some time had filled the position of assistant editor, took over the full editorial charge. A few weeks later Mr. W. K. Thomas, who had been associated with 'The Register' for more than forty-one years, died also, and the other three partnerx undertook the sole control of the business. On December 2 of the same year the 10,000th issue of 'The Register' was signalized by a facsimile re production of the first number printed in the colony. On June 3. 1887. the jubilee of the paper was celebrated, and with that day's issue No. 12,653 a short his- tory of the daily and its associated jour- nals was presented to our readers as a souvenir. On -lime 30, 1890, Mr. C. Day retired from the proprie- tary after many years' connnection with the office, and he has since died in England. When 'The Register' was first issued the subscription was 26s. per an num, 6d. per copy 'if called for,' or Id. extra to delivered or sent by post. Be tween 1839 and 1843 the price was raised to 1s. but afterwards fell again to 6d., then to 4d., then to 3d. in May, 1864, then to 3d. in January, 1882, and finally
(in July, 1892) to 1d. At one sixth of the price the public arc now supplied with' six times as much information as was con- tained in the first number of the paper.