This bush journo was a real headline act himself
Bill McCarthy was a passionate newspaper man who, for nearly 65 years, shook as many hands as he travelled miles to recount the stories, triumphs and tragedies of country people.
Today it’s the other way around as we tell Bill’s story through the memories of his close colleagues, friends and family.
Bill was born Terence Vincent McCarthy on August 22, 1934, the third son of Patrick (‘Paddy’) and Christina McCarthy, at Donald, Victoria, as the country was still battling through the long-term effects caused by the Great Depression.
When Bill was four, the McCarthys moved to Horsham, where Paddy was a well-known stock agent and auctioneer for Young Brothers.
Bill was educated at both Brigidine Convent and Horsham High School before entering the workforce when he signed on at the bi-weekly Horsham Times on January 2, 1952, as a young reporter.
His first job was to write up the Wimmera Shield cricket final, in which he had played for Horsham against Ararat the previous day.
A blend of precise writing and the sporting challenge remained with him for the rest of his life.
Bill went on to work at the West Wimmera Mail, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Horsham and Kalgoorlie.
He edited the Casterton News, the Hamilton Spectator, Wangaratta Chronicle and the Ararat Advertiser.
In 1981 he re-joined The News after a short stint as reporter in 1976.
He was chief sub-editor at The News and he remained with the McPherson Newspaper Group in various roles for the next 36 years — before retiring in 2006 with severe glaucoma.
Throughout his life, Bill was a keen amateur sportsman — playing table tennis, football, tennis and cricket.
He served as publicity officer for the Central Goulburn and Wimmera football leagues and as a journalist he regularly covered five major leagues and several district leagues.
While covering basketball for The News, Bill won four awards presented by the league for best media coverage of the sport.
In 2007 he was awarded a Jack Terrill Medal for services to the Victorian Country Basketball Council.
He is a life member of Greater Shepparton Basketball Association.
A staunch supporter of Goulburn Valley tennis, he also ran a Saturday morning tennis program on Shepparton community radio station ONE FM in retirement.
Bill was a keen traveller — spending a year in Europe and the United Kingdom in 1975.
In the 1980s Bill travelled to the Philippines where he met and married Nora in Cebu City in May 1983. Two months later Nora and Bill returned to Australia and settled in Shepparton where they raised three sons — Terry, Francis and Bernie.
Bill and Nora became life members of Shepparton’s Filipino Australia Friends Association and worked towards the restoration of Shepparton’s former International Village’s Philippine House, which is due to be completed in March next year.
Bill and his wife Nora. Together they raised three sons as Bill continued to achieve milestones in regional media.