HeeOB'dei?" celebrates t®d@y completion ®$ @ holf-cfentury'of ser vice to the people. ' . -
On July, 1898, Messrs. A. E. South and G. Meyrick, long since passed along the inevitable track of all the- pioneers, brought out the first issue with a team of hand compositors chronicling in leaden type the news of the day with gaslight
Between that far-off day and July 9, 1948, stretches a story of progress, of ._ faithful endeavor to fulfil a mission and to give to the people in clear, straight forward form news of the ever-changing march of world affairs.
Through three wars-1899-1902, 1914-1919, 1939-1945--through fire and flood, "The Recorder" has unfailingly carried its news to the people.
Its pages have been read on the hot sands of the 'Middle East, beside the blue waters of the Mediterranean, on the torn areas of Europe, and in the foetid jungle swamps of the Pacific Islands, bringing to war-weary men the message of Home.
And in this great industrial centre successive owners and executives of the paper have worked incessantly with one eye on the passing picture and the other on a star-that glittering ray lighting d Pirie growing ever greater. -
The story of the newspaper in Pirie goes back far .beyond the birth of "The Recorder." On February 4, 1876, the year in which, this town was incor porated, Messrs. T. C. A. Anthony and T. A. Shepherd started an unpretentious sheet, "Port Pirie Gazette and Area News," in a small office opposite the loca tion of the pi-esent Salvation Army Hall in Florence street. That paper filled the need - of the then-small community, but after having run a few years it faded
It was on March 21, 1885, that Messrs. A. E.. and W. South with a brother of the late Sir William Sowden, of "Re gister" fame, opened another news paper, "Port Pirie Advocate." The new sheet was published from a small office in Ellen street north, near Adelaide Mill ing Company's mill.
In comparatively brief time Mr. A. E. South, became sole proprietor, and be fore long he had moved his plant into Alexander street on the site of the shop at present occupied by Walker and Sons. In 1897 another move was made and "The Advocate" was issued from an office in Ellen street opposite Family
Four years after "The Advocate" first appeared Messrs. W. S. Targett and Charles Chandler deemed that Pirie could support two papers, and on Janu-
ary 4, 1889, they produced another week- ly-"Port Pirie Standard."
The two papers ran side by side until 1898, when Mr. South and his five sons Clive, Gordon, Jack, Frank, and Alan, were joined by Charles Meyrick. "The Advocate" and "The Standard" were purchased and incorporated with "Port Pirie Recorder" on July 1 and 5, 1898, and four days later the new paper
South and Meyrick published "Port Pirie Recorder" on Wednesday and Saturday mornings and continued to do so until April 6, 1914, a few months be- fore the first world war broke out. At that stage, Pirie having grown to a great industrial centre, the time was deemed ripe to produce a daily. From that date Pirie had its every-morning publication.
The linotype had by then displaced the old hand compositor, and "setting up" the paper became a swifter process. As the town grew in size and importance so did "Port Pirie Recorder" grow in, in fluence, and in 1919 the business changed hands.
The new owner was the late Mr. J. E. Davidson, who had been connected with journalism and newspaper production in Melbourne and Broken Hill. He changed the name to the title it bears today "The Recorder."
Ellen Street Fire
In that year came disaster to the orga- nisation, for the Ellen street office and plant were badly damaged by fire. All files, containing valuable war records and historical data relating to the rise of the town, went in the flames. But the paper had to come out, and with the aid of a jobbing office across the street a small sheet was produced for a few days until office adjustments were made. In remarkably brief time "The Recorder" had recovered.
Mr. Davidson directed the energies of the paper until 1923, when he founded "The News", Adelaide, and "The Re corder" was acquired by that company.
In the latter part of Mr. Davidson's ownership Mr. George Brickhill was edi tor of "The Recorder," and soon after News Limited assumed control he was' succeeded by Mr. Buckley Joyce, who had come from Grafton, New South
In December. 1927-21 years .ago-a change of location was again made, and plant and staff entered the present build ing in: Alexander street, then Dunn Hall, administered by the trustees of Central Methodist Mission. No issue was missed while the plant was being transferred from Ellen, street, though readers were given their paper on time only after a
battle with night chaos.
For eight years "The Recorder" ran along as one of a circle of far-flung newspapers incorporating "The News" (Adelaide), "Daily News" (Perth), and "Barrier Miner" (Broken Hill). On De cember 1, 1931, it was purchased by Re- corder Proprietary Limited. That com- pany. was founded and owned by Mr. Horace Yelland, formerly editor of "The News" and "The Mail."
Mr. Yelland spent 10 years in Pirie guiding the destinies of the paper, and in 1941 it came under control of Mr. C. P. Mum, the present lessee.
August, 1934, brought "The Recorder's" second great trial when, im common with many other buildings in the town, it was. inundated by the disastrous flood of August 14. Once again it was a case of "or, with the job," and while the electric power of the office was rendered useless staff members by all manner of make shift methods produced a small sheet the following evening. ?
On the following Monday morning, four days after the' flood,. "The Recor der" was on the streets ini full size, carrying the complete story of the town's disaster. That vivid word picture went to the four corners of the earth.
Popes' Receives Heaviest . Bfiow Off its History.
Fire again attacked the paper on Janu ary 22, 1941, when Central Mission Hall burst into flames midway through the
morning. The fire spread to the adjoin- : ing "Recorder" Office, causing heavy j
That was the heaviest blow dealt "The Recorder" in history. A huge storeroom stacked with valuable newsprint had caught fire and the entire contents were
That misfortune brought about publi cation of the paper on Monday, Wednes day, and Friday mornings.
And so "The Recorder" has gone on over the 50 years. Fire and flood failed to stay its stride, nor could the news print shortage, reaching almost famine stage at times and still a hovering spectre, shake its steadfastness.
It is a matter for conjecture how many persons have assisted in production of the paper in those 50 years. But the list is long, and mary men who are today in
high places in. the business world can look back cheerfully and riot a little proudly to the day when, if thpy did not "splash ink," they delivered the morn ing paper round the town.
Mr. W. C. Slater, now an Elleni street newsagent, is probably the oldest Piriean living who was on the job when the first issue was turned out. He is amused today to recall that about 69 years ago, when a lad of 13, he decamped from the small school here and got a job oa the "Port Pirie Gazette and Areas News." His association with newspaper wcrlc has rever quite ceased since that time.
Men visiting from other parts ini re cent years have often caused surprise with the remark: "I worked on this paper as a lad-in the good old days." One, Lieut.-Col. Alex Pope, recently dis charged from the army after many years of service, looked in last week and added reminiscences of his "printer's devil" days here.
Sfaaf# Of 12 Aggregates 190"; Years1, Servie©
Today there are 12 members on the1 staff of "The Recorder," their combined service reaching the imposing total of 190 "man-years." In order of their length of service, they are as follow:
Fred Lethbridge (machinist) started as a lad in 1912, had about six years away, including four years in the first world war. He claims nearly 30 years' service. Laurie Pratt (linotype mechanic) came here from school 30 years ago and worked up from errand boy to the charge of the battery of type-setting
Cyril Twining (machine room fore man), who had had experience on pro vincial weeklies, joined the staff 29 years ago and is still on duty. Cecil Mum (editor) started with the pen as a sport ing reporter nearly 27 years ago. Maurice Sandery (linotype operator) was another who exchanged the classroom for staff membership 25 years ago, and ex cept for a brief spell in' Adelaide has been in the mechanical room ever since. Mis. Mavis Innes (business manager) entered the office with Mr. Yelland (her father) 17 years ago. Max Barkla (lite
rary staff) canoe from "The News," Ade laide, 15 years ago, spent four years in
the R.^.AJT. overseas, won the D.F.G.,
ard rejoined the staff after his discharge.
Lucy Mum .(clerk) came from school to join the staff ira 1942 and has been in the business section since then. Colin Twining (trainee machinist) joined as a lad, spent four years on active service, and rejoined after his discharge from the A.I.F. He has spent five years in the
Erroll McEllister (literary staff) has had two periods on the journalistic side extending over four years' active, asso ciation. Colh> Mum (linotype operator) joined the machine room staff 4% years ago, after his discharge from the A.I.F. Beryl Fitzgerald, "baby" of the staff, has been in the clerical department' about a year and a half.. .
Those twelve persons are serving "The Recorder" and the public today with zest and conscientious endeavor that has not been, exceeded by any who has assisted in keeping the paper floating through its