A valuable record
THIS week's Blackwater Herald is very much a collector's edition.
It is our final edition as a standalone product.
Our team of talented reporters has spent the past week delving back into nearly 40 years of Herald archives.
This collector's edition offers a special journey back in time as we cover the history of the paper, this great town and its surrounding area and the people who have made this part of the world such a special place.
I particularly enjoyed the flashback to how the town .grew with the mining industry in the 1960s (see page 7).
The town's highs and lows have so obviously been intertwined with the mining sector's fortunes.
Your next Blackwater Herald, to be published on Wednesday, February 10, will be incorporated into The CQ News as an eight-page liftout.
BETH and Doey Baker moved to town in 1972 with the plan to make their money and find their dream home somewhere else.
"Well it took us about six years to realise this was home and this is where we want to spend the rest of our lives," Beth said.
"We've never found anywhere else we would want to live and that's the bottom line.
"In 2010 we travelled around the west and I loved it, I love all of Australia but this is the beautiful climate, beautiful people and we love it."
With 44 years in the town Beth can remember the year the Herald started in Blackwater and all the highs and lows reported on the pages since.
"I can't say I remember reading the first Herald but I do remember having it in the cupboard there and I remember Mr Massey coming to town and he kicked it off then," she recalled.
"And we thought that was a wonderful thing to have your own paper.
"I've got scrapbooks of when the kids made certain teams or scoring their first goal.
"You'd cut it out and stick it in an old exercise book, I've kept them all."
Beth said sport was without a doubt her favourite section in any paper, especially the days when it was about her club, the Centrals football club, which has since folded.
"Sport always, in every paper, the sport is my favourite section to read," she said. "I read it back to front, I think it's the male thing to do."
Thinking back on some big stories covered by the Herald, Beth said the time John Howard visited Blackwater as treasurer was a big issue.
"John Howard, he was the treasurer at the time, came to town to talk to all the people but he timed it all wrong and all the blokes were half shot and gave him one hell of a time," she said.
"That was about the same time as strikes, unions were different in those days they had a bit of power in those days and they had a lynch mob in the old footy fields."
Beth said she can remember reading about it in the paper and looking at the photos to recognise those who attended.
Throughout the years Beth said tragedies would bring the town together and everyone would help each other out.
"It's a very giving town and I've always found it that way," she said.
"Sad stories of young ones when they've died in accidents or that young one out at the Weir, they just pull at your heart strings.
"We rely on the paper to tell us those stories because otherwise it's just gossip but when you get it in the paper you know that's very close to the truth and you can start to reach out to people if they need it."