Change story was eye-catcher

Kalgoorlie Miner - - OPINION - Te­gan Guthrie

It wasn’t the only head­line on the front page of the Kal­go­or­lie Miner 45 years ago, but it was the one that caught al­most ev­ery reader’s eye.

On April 22, 1970, vol­ume 76, num­ber 22548 of the Miner hit the stands with the head­line, “Miner ac­quired by WA News­pa­pers, will con­tinue to fight in cause of lo­cal in­ter­ests”.

It was an his­toric change for the pa­per, which was first pub­lished on Septem­ber 15, 1895, and one not ev­ery­one agreed with at the time.

The ar­ti­cle, placed proudly in the cen­tre of the page, read as fol­lows:

“Af­ter 75 years as the Gold­fields’ daily news­pa­per, the Kal­go­or­lie Miner passed from the hands of the Hock­ing fam­ily to Perth-based media gi­ant West Aus­tralian News­pa­pers Lim­ited.

“All the shares from Hock­ing and Co Pty Ltd have been ac­quired by WA News­pa­pers.

“The Miner was first pub­lished on Septem­ber 15, 1895, which fol­lowed the ac­qui­si­tion late in 1894 of the weekly Western Argus by the Hock­ing broth­ers, the late Sid­ney Ed­win and Percy Stu­art.

“They had sold their evening and weekly pa­pers and moved from Cool­gar­die.

“On the death of Mr SE Hock­ing in 1935, his four sons, Messrs SJF, PS, EN and EJ Hock­ing, car­ried on the busi­ness for the past 35 years.

“Out­stand­ing in the pa­per’s cam­paign on ma­jor is­sues in the early days was its strong sup­port for Fed­er­a­tion and in which the Gold­fields’ vote in favour played a decisive part.

“It has con­sis­tently fought in the cause of Gold­fields’ in­ter­ests and will con­tinue to do so.”

In another ar­ti­cle in 2010, one of the pa­per’s orig­i­nal founders, Mr SE Hock­ing’s grand­son John Hock­ing re­called how the pa­per strug­gled dur­ing hard times and af­ter the death of his grand­fa­ther did not progress tech­no­log­i­cally or fi­nan­cially.

“How­ever, the years be­tween were hard, as it was for the min­ing com­pa­nies that op­er­ated the golden mile,” he said.

“Their busi­ness model was by this time floored as well.

“What you have to know was at this time gold was not ex­actly tax free, but the Com­mon­wealth Gov­ern­ment was sub­si­dis­ing its cost of pro­duc­tion, a far cry from the pro­posed su­per­tax.”

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