Small Town, Big News

The Mirboo North Times is a small regional newspaper that’s been running for 122 years, ostensibly supported by a dedicated group of volunteers who publish one edition each week, covering local news and events affecting the region. While the Mirboo North Times might not be a large newspaper compared to some, it certainly supports an extensive and loyal reader base and, with a growing community, that’s only likely to increase.

The Mirboo North Times

The Mirboo North Times

Mirboo North Times approx area of coverage (source: Bing

Mirboo North Times approx area of coverage (source: Bing Maps)

The Mirboo North Times has clearly undergone many changes in those 122 years, such as changing name and ownership several times, which has made it very difficult to find much information about those very early years. And it’s quite ironic that a newspaper is the last to record much, if anything, of its own existence; somewhat like the best barber in town having the worst haircut.

Going way back - The Gippslander and Mirboo North Times office - Mirboo North Victoria

Going way back – The Gippslander and Mirboo North Times office – Mirboo North Victoria

However, there still remains a memory of perhaps the longest standing home of the Mirboo North Times, before the recent move, located just down the street. The off-set presses and other equipment have long gone and are now stored in a museum in Morwell (I believe), and all that remains in Mirboo North, as a memory of that era, is the exterior; a stark reminder of how small towns invariably change over the years.

The old Mirboo North Times

The old Mirboo North Times – the stories this building could tell

Mirboo North TimesThe old Mirboo North Times -

The old Mirboo North Times – a doorway to a piece of history

Following the amalgamation of Victorian local councils in 1994, the shire hall became redundant and, in 1997, a new home was created for the Mirboo North Times in the now vacant council building. The vacated shire hall also became home to the Mirboo North and District Historical Society and, more recently, to the Regional Tourism Board and peak tourism organisation for the Gippsland region in eastern Victoria, known as Destination Gippsland Ltd.

The new Mirboo North Times

The new Mirboo North Times – old facilities become a new home

It should also be noted that the Mirboo North Times is a not-for-profit newspaper, all the funds not required to maintain the production of the newspaper are returned back to the community in various grants. So what goes around, comes around, and that’s how it should be.

Update. At the request of the newspaper, I’ve removed the photos of the staff depicted in my earlier post. It also saddens me that one of the volunteer staff members, Sue Webb, passed away on 27 Jun 2015 and my condolences go to her family. Sue was a very kind and dedicated member of the Mirboo North Times and I’m sure that she will be greatly missed.