Pa­per cap­tured the big events

Albany Advertiser - - NEWS - Toby Hussey

The pe­riod 1908-1928 were years of great change in Al­bany, and Al­bany Ad­ver­tiser jour­nal­ists were there to re­port the sto­ries that would shape the re­gion.

Jour­nal­ists were har­bour­side to wit­ness the mo­men­tous ar­rival of Amer­ica’s 16-bat­tle­ship-strong Great White Fleet in 1908. Six years later they waved good­bye to 40,000 Dig­gers head­ing over­seas in 1914.

The An­zacs’ de­par­ture was of great sig­nif­i­cance to the town, which for many sol­diers would be their last sight­ing of Aus­tralia.

Four years later, when news broke of the war end­ing in 1918, Ad­ver­tiser jour­nal­ists were road­side to record the stream of re­turned sol­diers, flag-wav­ing women and scouts ex­cit­edly pa­rade down York Street cel­e­brat­ing the end of fight­ing.

By 1921, af­ter the dust of war had set­tled, and the Ad­ver­tiser cov­ered a yarn that would still rock the town to­day: should Dog Rock be blown up on safety grounds?

Lo­cal opin­ion was a re­sound­ing “No”, and let­ters pro­posed “barbed wire [be] stretched across the face of the rock” to stop peo­ple climb­ing on it, while oth­ers of­fered to help pay for street­lights around it to im­prove road safety.

Through the Ad­ver­tiser, lo­cals pres­sured the coun­cil to bin the pro­posal, sav­ing the iconic land­mark from de­struc­tion.

The pe­riod 1908-1928 was also one of cul­tural de­vel­op­ment for Al­bany, with the open­ing of the town’s first govern­ment schools, the first pumped wa­ter and the con­struc­tion of the orig­i­nal Av­enue of Hon­our on Middleton Road.

By 1928 the be­drock of the town was firmly es­tab­lished.

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