Has a new home
down and was rebuilt.
The building that housed the Ensign on Mair St, following that fire, still stands on the corner of Smythe St and Lowry Place — it is currently the home of the Benalla Scouts.
The Ensign operated from Mair St from the day it opened until 1969.
The O’Shea family owned the Ensign until 1977 when it was sold to a Geoff Adams.
Just 11 years later he sold it to current owners McPherson Media Group, which has published Benalla’s local newspaper ever since.
In 1967 it had merged with Rose City rival the Benalla Standard, consolidating the town’s local news.
The Ensign started life as a weekly newspaper, and would remain so for four years.
On Saturday, March 30, 1872 it published an article stating it would be moving to a twice weekly publication — it was at this time it adopted the North Eastern Ensign moniker for the first time.
That article read: “... Owing to the rapid strides of the north-eastern district (it) has... made (us) think it is now time that a more frequent publication of news than can be obtained by means of a weekly issue ought to be attempted.”
That attempt lasted for more than a century.
It was on April 5, 1989, that the Ensign reverted from a twice-weekly publication to a weekly newspaper published on a Wednesday.
While 55a Carrier St was a great fit for the paper in 1989, when it moved in, since that time changes within the publication made it a little bit larger than necessary.
For example, it had a darkroom at the rear of the building — essential for a newspaper in the 1980s and ’90s.
The move to digital photography rendered it no more than storeroom.
It has a large reception, open plan area with four desks, and two separate offices.
Again, all 100 per cent essential in 1990, when up to eight people were working here.
However, aside from having no use for a dark room, structural changes within the company, such as centralising the classifieds, which have been run from Shepparton for many years, make it somewhat large for its current purpose.
Recently when the lease was coming up for renewal a decision was made to move to a new office.
Which also gave the Ensign an opportunity to move to a more central location.
Of course, if we’ve learnt anything from history it is entirely possible the Ensign will be moving back to 55 Carrier St in a few years. Please note, this is a joke.
When we do open the doors at 70 Bridge St for the first time (Thursday, October 28), we are inviting the community to pop in and say hello.
We would love to hear if you have any stories you would like us to cover, or if you have any advertising needs we can assist with.
We might even have some cakes and pies to share while we celebrate the occasion.
Please note this is subject to restrictions and density limits should there be any changes.
We look forward to seeing you there, and look forward to serving the community from our new location, as the Ensign has done for the past 158 years.
Thank you to the Benalla Historic society for their assistance with this article.