Good­bye to newsagent as own­ers re­tire

Alpine Observer - - Front Page - By ALEX CRAIG

MT BEAUTY is with­out a newsagency after Mick and Vicky Lus­combe closed the doors for the last time on their Hol­londs Street busi­ness last week­end.

The cou­ple had run the shop for more than 20 years.

“We have been happy run­ning the busi­ness but I’m get­ting old, and I want to get out and do things while I’m still young enough,” Mr Lus­combe said.

The cou­ple plan to buy a car­a­van and set out on an ex­tended ad­ven­ture to ex­plore Aus­tralia.

The Lus­combes bought the newsagency from S.K Pearce in Oc­to­ber 1995, hav­ing moved from Thorn­ton where they ran the gen­eral store.

“We love the moun­tains and wanted to stay in the North East, and the busi­ness was al­ready up and run­ning,” Mr Lus­combe said.

“It was the last of S.K Pearce’s busi­nesses to be sold.”

Mr Pearce was in­volved in the de­vel­op­ment of the Kiewa Val­ley after the hy­dro-elec­tric scheme had been com­pleted.

He owned the su­per­mar­ket, the hard­ware store, the newsagency as well as busi­nesses in Ta­wonga, all of which were sold after his death in 1994.

The Lus­combes didn’t want to leave Mt Beauty with­out a newsagency but were un­suc­cess­ful in find­ing a buyer.

Mr Lus­combe said that he did not be­lieve that many peo­ple nowa­days were will­ing to put in the ex­tended hours, and work seven days a week.

Camp­bell Ford, owner of Mt Beauty Hard­ware and Drap­ery, said that the clo­sure was a great shame, and that many com­mu­nity mem­bers will not un­der­stand the value of the newsagents un­til it has gone.

“They have done a ter­rific job with the busi­ness, as well as pro­vid­ing ex­tra ser­vices to the com­mu­nity such as the dry clean­ing agency and act­ing as ticket sell­ers for lo­cal events,” he said.

“How­ever, the shop is in an excellent po­si­tion and it is un­likely to stay va­cant for very long.”

News­pa­pers can be pur­chased from the Mt Beauty FoodWorks and from the Ta­wonga South Store and Newsagency, but there will no longer be a lo­cal dry clean­ing agency.

It is ex­pected that the Tattslotto agency will re­turn at some point, but it is un­known when that will oc­cur.

Mr and Mrs Lus­combe said that they wished to thank all their many cus­tomers who have sup­ported them over the years.

PHOTO: Alex Craig

SHUT­TING UP SHOP: The Mt Beauty Newsagency of­fi­cially closed last Satur­day when Mick and Vicky Lus­combe re­tired after 22 years run­ning the busi­ness.

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