The Mirror News


– The Best family and everyone at The Mirror bids farewell

• Robert (Rab) and Jenny’s family have known nothing else but Dad being at work at “the paper”, whether it was during the week, at night or on weekends.  From left is Ebony, Jake (holding Freddie),
Rab (holding Max), Kenzie at front, Jenny, and Allira (holding Sloane). It’s time to sign off!

FROM the first issue of The Mirror on March 28, 1890, when owner Henry Barnes and his staff threw the hand-set type of the day into lines and columns to inform locals of the events of the day, The Mirror, together with the district, has advanced through various updating processes employed in the industry.

The Mirror has won awards for best paper in its category, and three highly commended awards for journalism, photography, and computers, processes undreamed of in the time of Henry Barnes, play a vital role in the production of The Mirror.

Rossiter Brothers, who played a leading role in the newspaper industry throughout South Gippsland, also cast their spell on The Mirror, but the family that has had the most say has been the Cunningham family. From the arrival of Ted Cunningham as an employee about 1913, to his purchase of the business in 1930, followed by his son Rupert in 1940, and then joined by his son Don in 1952, the family continued to have an involvement until Rupert sold the premises to Mr. Brendon Baker in 1981. This gave the Cunningham family a leading role in recording the affairs of the district for nearly 70 years.

After nearly 30 years of running the paper, Mr. Rupert Cunningham appointed Mr. Ian Barker as manager in December 1965. In June, 1970, Mr. Cunningham leased the business to Messrs George Haines and Geoff Esler.

In July 1973, Mr. Esler purchased Mr. Haines’ share, and in 1977 sold to Mr. Brendon Baker. The freehold of the property was purchased by Mr. Baker in 1980.  In August 1989, Mr. Baker sold the business to the present owners Robert and Jenny Best.

The production of The Mirror changed over the years. In 1974 during a shipping strike when newspaper was very difficult to obtain, it was decided to have The Mirror printed by the offset process, at Morwell at the Latrobe Valley Express. Up until that time the company had continued to print The Mirror and the Toora and Welshpool Ensign as separate papers, although all intents and purposes they were exactly the same paper produced under a different banner.

With the start of offset printing, the two papers were merged into one, and The Ensign ceased to exist after 75 years.

New technology was introduced into The Mirror gradually, with the purchase of a computer in 1982 to set up all the type, and a vertical camera in 1984 to vastly improve the format of the whole paper. In 1988 a new digital typesetting system was purchased, providing a vastly improved range of functions and abilities.

The Mirror has, over its 134 years of history, retained its image of “The Local”, reporting local news from all walks of life, dealing in local personalities, and employing local people. It was one of the few privately owned newspapers still circulating in Victoria, and has followed a tradition of bringing local news to local people, without imposing religious or political bias on its readers.

We were very proud to be the only local newspaper who kept production going through the COVID-19 lockdowns to keep our readers informed on what was happening during those dark times.

A huge thank you to all our advertisers over the years, without your support we couldn’t have lasted as long as we have. To all the wonderful correspondents who have contributed either columns or sporting notes and results, a big shout out to you all. And to all our loyal readers who have purchased the paper, even when the price increased over the years to help pay for rising costs.

Last but by no means least, thanks to our  wonderful staff over the years who have assisted in producing The Mirror, especially “Kapil”, Kate and Carol in recent times.

It is a sad day for all concerned at The Mirror to say farewell, but life is too short so we can’t wait to see what lies ahead!


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