Gyles - 126 years of family loyalty
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