The no­tice that never got printed

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS - MATTHEW PUR­CELL

EACH day in its long life, the Bor­der Post of­fice wel­comed a va­ri­ety of vis­i­tors and its fair share of char­ac­ters, but few as beloved as Aileen Ma­her.

Ap­proach­ing 92 years young, the former em­ployee never missed a pa­per.

“The doc­tor can’t cure me. He can’t cure 91-itis,” Mrs Ma­her joked with her usual hu­mour.

Ev­ery Tues­day and Thurs­day with­out fail, Mrs Ma­her would find her way to the of­fice to get her dose of lo­cal news.

And ev­ery sin­gle time she would hit staff with the same ques­tion: “Am I in the death no­tices to­day?” As it hap­pens, Mrs Ma­her out­lived the printed death no­tices.

She worked at the pa­per, she thinks, from around 1945.

“I used to do all the ac­counts,” Mrs Ma­her said. “Those were the days. “When the pa­per was printed, all the staff had to go down to the print­ing ma­chine and as they rolled off we had to fold them by hand.

“I only left the job be­cause of the lights.

“My eyes were shock­ing at the time.”

While the last printed edi­tion of the Bor­der Post will roll out to­day, it will con­tinue on­line.

But for some, such as Mrs Ma­her, the on­line world is a for­eign beast.

“I haven’t got that sort of thing and I’m too old to learn it,” she said.

Her affin­ity for news ob­vi­ously rubbed off.

Son, Sid Ma­her, just so hap­pens to be the news di­rec­tor at The Aus­tralian.

His first foray into me­dia was as a work ex­pe­ri­ence stu­dent at the Bor­der Post.

“He’s brighter than I am. He was the one who told me the Bor­der Post print was fin­ish­ing up.

“What’s Stan­thorpe go­ing to be like with­out the Tues­day and Thurs­day pa­per?

“It’s such a shame. “I re­mem­ber when I used to live at Lis­ton, 100 years ago, as a lit­tle kid and they used to de­liver the pa­per out to us there.”

In an ar­ti­cle writ­ten by Sid Ma­her to cel­e­brate the 140th an­niver­sary of the Bor­der Post, he made an apt point.

“A great news­pa­per edi­tor once said a suc­cess­ful news­pa­per has to be a vi­tal it part of the con­ver­sa­tion in its com­mu­nity.

“By that stan­dard, the Stan­thorpe Bor­der Post is a suc­cess­ful news­pa­per,” he said.

The Bor­der Post is chang­ing, but it will re­main vi­tal and ded­i­cated to the com­mu­nity. it

Mrs Ma­her has promised she won’t miss the last print edi­tion and hope­fully, just one last time, she’ll pose that all­too-fa­mil­iar ques­tion to staff.

“Am I in the death no­tices to­day?”

Pic­ture: Matthew Pur­cell

Aileen Ma­her looks back fondly on a Bor­der Post fea­ture about her life.

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