Gyles - 126 years of fam­ily loy­alty

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JAR­RYD BARCA

The Gyles story is one of de­vo­tion, hard work and fam­ily loy­alty.

The well-known fam­ily-owned Gyles Newsagency in Corowa will be cel­e­brat­ing its 126th birth­day next Tues­day, July 17.

The out­let was pur­chased in 1892 by William Henry Gyles and has since had its reins handed down gen­er­a­tion by gen­er­a­tion.

These days, William’s great grand­chil­dren and twins Peter Tait and San­dra Dunn, who have both been work­ing at the store in ex­cess of a quar­ter cen­tury, are co-own­ers af­ter tak­ing over from Gor­don Gyles in 2012.

Ms Dunn touched on the sen­ti­men­tal value the store holds.

“The store has been owned by our fam­ily for 126 years,” she ex­plained.

“My mother’s brother was the last per­son who owned it and then about six years ago, my twin brother and I had to take over. It was very un­ex­pected when we took over, but we never thought twice about it, we wanted to help the fam­ily.

“Over the years, lots of our fam­ily mem­bers have worked at the store – our grand­par­ents, par­ents, aun­ties, un­cles, kids and so on. It’s a bit of a tra­di­tion.

“We al­ways have fam­ily mem­bers come in and they rem­i­nisce over the mem­o­ries they spent work­ing here and it is so lovely.

“One of my grand­daugh­ters is only 12 months old and she will prob­a­bly work here too, she may even own it one day!”

The store cur­rently has nine em­ploy­ees, which is less than it oc­cu­pied be­fore the turn of the cen­tury af­ter opt­ing to rid the many boys who used to do the pa­per rounds.

The news agency un­der­went its most prom­i­nent ren­o­va­tion in March of 2016, and while the lay­out of the store and the dis­play ar­eas have sig­nif­i­cantly changed, the size has never ex­panded.

The old West­pac Bank has now evolved into the of­fice room, and when Lot­ter­ies en­ter­tained the idea of an up­grade, the of­fice, counter and stor­age area turned into what is now the toy area – which used to be next door.

While the out­let has sub­tly changed its lay­out, the peo­ple in­volved never have.

“We have great re­la­tion­ships with our lo­cal cus­tomers. It’s a small town so we re­ally value them all,” San­dra said.

“Our cus­tomers are very loyal to the news agency. They don’t have to come into our shop, they choose to, so I am re­ally grate­ful for all of their on­go­ing sup­port.

“My un­cle was very well known in the com­mu­nity, peo­ple used to come into the shop just to talk to Gor­don be­cause he was so knowl­edge­able and friendly.”

Mr Tait agreed, still en­joy­ing com­ing to work as he did when he started 28 years ago.

“I work from 3.30 in the morn­ing un­til 8 and I love the in­ter­ac­tion with all the early morn­ing cus­tomers. I still en­joy com­ing to work even at 3.30am,” he told The Free Press.

San­dra said it was quite an ac­com­plish­ment to reach the 126 year mile­stone, feel­ing proud to carry on the fam­ily tra­di­tion.

Gyles Newsagency de­liv­ers its pa­pers to Corowa only, and is lo­cated at 65 Sanger Street – the same premise it was bought on 126 years ago. It was orig­i­nally bought for 300 pounds.

Gyles Newsagency co-own­ers San­dra Dunn and Peter Tait have car­ried on a loyal 126-year tra­di­tion.

Gyles Newsagency pic­tured in1972

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