This bush journo was a real head­line act him­self

Kyabram Free Press - - NEWS -

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.

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