Change story was eye-catcher
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.”