Fay Head’s sad farewell to print
WITH a history deeply rooted in the Chinchilla district, as six generations of family have put their blood, sweat, and tears into the foundation of the community – it’s only fitting that Fay Head, 89, speaks about the end of print for the Chinchilla News.
Mrs Head said her mother’s (Eileen Stergers) grandparents first journeyed to Chinchilla in 1890 scouting for a place to call home – but it wasn’t until 1901 (six years before the Chinchilla News existed) her ancestors decided to make a permeant trip to the Western Downs.
“They were part of the … settlers that came from New South Wales,” Mrs Head said.
“There ended up being three Stergers brothers in Chinchilla and my grandfather was one of the first to grow wheat in the district.
“They only had a small selection and in order to supplement their income he use to go up to Auburn Station – and I know people would be horrified at this – but they use to shoot the koala bears and possums for their skins because they were very popular.
“But that’s just history.”
The soon to be 90-year-old said reading the Chinchilla News has always been a part of weekly life.
“I’ve always loved reading about our district, I look forward to it every week, reading about the births, deaths, marriages, sales, sport and local council news,” Mrs Head said.
“The newspaper in Chinchilla has been around for a very very long time, and old people they love holding the newspaper because it’s soft and malleable and it’s just full of local news.”
Even when Mrs Head moved away from Chinchilla for five years, the Chinchilla News always kept her connected to home.
“When I was away, we always had the Chinchilla News sent to us to keep us up to date with what was happening in the district,” she said.
“There’s nothing as relaxing than sitting down quietly and being able to read your local news holding a nice newspaper in a comfortable chair.”
It will be a great loss to the community, Ms Head said particularly for the senior members within the community who struggle with using technology.
“Usually you just have to concentrate on reading, so it’s hard to come to terms with using new technology – it’s just not as personal, it’s sad really,” she said.
“It’s a way of life being taken away from elder people, and I think even some middle age people prefer to read the paper than have a cold slab in their lap.
“I will miss the soft pliable paper rather than a hard and cold object.
“My biggest worry is that people will stop reading books eventually – and all our lovely big libraries – what will they be filled with?”