The Bunyip

The Bunyip is a weekly newspaper, first printed on 5 September 1863, and originally published and printed in Gawler, South Australia. Its distribution area includes the Gawler, Barossa, Light, Playford, and Adelaide Plains areas. Along with The Murray Pioneer, The River News, and The Loxton News, The Bunyip was now owned (since 2003) by the Taylor Group of Newspapers and printed in Renmark.[1]

The Bunyip Newspaper building
The Bunyip newspaper building, Gawler South, South Australia established 1863

On 1 April 2020, however, The Bunyip announced that it would cease publication "indefinitely" as a result of losses due to the coronavirus crisis.[2] However, due to public support, the newspaper was able to return shortly afterwards.[3] In August 2020, with the closure of The Border Watch (1861-2020), The Bunyip became South Australia's oldest rural newspaper still in print.

HistoryEdit

Originally a monthly publication, the first issue of The Bunyip, subtitled "Gawler Humbug Society's Chronicle"[a] was issued on 5 September 1863, consisted of eight pages and was priced at 6d.[4] The name was chosen because "the Bunyip is the true type of Australian Humbug!"[5] It was warmly greeted by the South Australian Register, observing that it was "full of racy articles and local hits ... a very humorous article on the Gawler Agricultural Society's last dinner, which (was) not only very amusing but strictly correct ... (and should) undoubtedly prove a great success."[6]

With the paper's success, publication increased to bi-monthly in February 1865 (there was none printed in January), appearing on the first and third Saturday of each month. With new printing machinery, the paper up-sized to broadsheet format, and its title had become The Bunyip or Gawler Chronicle and Northern Advertiser.[7] The following year it became a weekly. By this time however, the paper's original offbeat stance had quite vanished and it had become a regular newspaper.[citation needed]

With three newspapers published in Gawler at the time, conditions allowed William Barnet, the proprietor, to purchase rival the Gawler Times (5 March 1869 to 27 June 1873).[8] Another rival, the weekly (later biweekly) Gawler Mercury (27 November 1875 – 8 July 1876)[9] also folded after a brief run of less than nine months. In February 1885 The Bunyip's building was destroyed by fire.[10] Barnet again wasted no time in having its competitor of seven years, the Gawler Standard (11 January 1878 - 27 February 1885), take over printing duties, then arranged with Richards, its proprietor, for an immediate merger.[11]

In January 1969, the newspaper absorbed the Junction and Gilbert Valley News, which had been published in Hamley Bridge since February 1940.[12]

ControversiesEdit

The Bunyip's first issue elicited a libel case against the publisher, William Barnet, by one Dr. Home Popham who had set up a hospital in the town and who had advertised boastfully in The Northern Star. The court proceedings were a merry affair with Mr. Stow appearing for the defence and the jury found for the plaintiff, awarding damages of one shilling.[13] Four years later, Barnet was sued in the SA. Supreme Court by Henry Edward Bright MP, for libel and found not guilty. This was greeted by both The Register and the Advertiser as a landmark decision.[14]

List of ownersEdit

  • William Barnet (1834–1895) married Hannah Burfield. His daughter Edith Violet Barnet married Frederic C. Custance, son of Professor John D. Custance in 1916.[15]
  • Robert Henry Barnet (c. 1869–1917) was third son of William and Hannah[16]
  • Frank L(indley) Barnet (1876–1941), a graduate of Roseworthy College,[17] was owner from 1917. He was fifth son of William and Hannah, married Clarice Isobel Carne in 1919.[18]
  • Kenneth Lindley "Ken" Barnet (1919–2000) was son of Frank and Clarice.[citation needed]
  • John Barnet ran the paper from 1975.[19]
  • It remained in the Barnet family until 2003. It is now owned by the Taylor Group, also a family concern,[20] who are also owners of the Murray Pioneer, based in Renmark.[1]

List of editorsEdit

  • Dr. George Nott 1863 to 1866[21]
  • T. Godfrey 1867 to 1868 (went on to Wallaroo Times then New Zealand)[22]
  • J. B. Austin 1868 (then founded Gawler Times)[23]
  • Benjamin Hoare 1869 to 1871 (later to have an illustrious career with the Melbourne Age)[24]
  • Edward Grundy 1871 to 1875 (ex-parliamentarian and political aspirant 1875)[25]
  • George E. Loyau 1878 to 1879 (an important historian of the district)[26]
  • Louis Joseph Wilson 1880 (arrested for embezzling £107 10s. 6d. from Mudla Wirra council, of which he was clerk. Was also secretary of the Jockey Club)[27]
  • Alfred Drakard 1881 to 1882
  • Henry John "Harry" Congreve 1885 to 1890 (also prominent writer to Adelaide papers as "H. J. C.")[28][29]
  • E. H. Coombe 1890 to 1914
  • Robert Barnet 1914 to 1917
  • Leslie S. Duncan 1917 to c. 1945 Duncan was M.P. for Gawler, and with the Bunyip for 30 years.[30]
  • Ken Barnet c. 1945 to c. 1965
  • Paul Vincent c. 1965 to ??
  • Ken Barnet
  • John Barnet 1975 to 2003
  • Terry Williams 2003 to 2004
  • Heidi Helbig 2004
  • Rob McLean 2011
  • Grady Hudd 2016

DistributionEdit

Like other Taylor Group publications, the newspaper is also available online.[31]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Members of the Humbug Society included E. L. Grundy, L. S. Burton, George Isaacs, J. P. Stow, and Dr. George Nott (c. 1822–1872)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "The Loxton News - The Taylor Group of Newspapers". www.loxton-news.com.au. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  2. ^ "SA country newspaper closes "indefinitely" and Messenger stops printing". InDaily. 2020-04-01. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
  3. ^ Dickson, Gary. "Local news sources are closing across Australia. We are tracking the devastation (and some reasons for hope)". The Conversation. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
  4. ^ "[No heading]". Bunyip. Gawler, SA: National Library of Australia. 5 September 1863. p. 1. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  5. ^ "The Bunyip". Home Page. The Bunyip, (Gawler's Weekly Newspaper). 2000. Archived from the original on 21 July 2006. Beneath the nineteenth-century dignity of colonial Gawler ran an undercurrent of excitement. Somewhere in the mildness of the spring afternoon an antiquated press clacked out a monotonous rhythm with a purpose never before known in the town. Then the undercurrent burst in a wave of jubilation—Gawler's first newspaper, The Bunyip, was on the streets.
  6. ^ "Gawler". South Australian Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 7 September 1863. p. 3. Retrieved 22 July 2013. High praise indeed!
  7. ^ "Advertising". South Australian Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 7 January 1865. p. 3. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  8. ^ User, Super. "Gawler". Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  9. ^ Gawler mercury. Gawler, S. Aust. : Robert Henry Ball. 1875.
  10. ^ "Fire at Gawler". The South Australian Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 27 February 1885. p. 6. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Newspaper Changes at Gawler". Adelaide Observer. National Library of Australia. 7 March 1885. p. 36. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  12. ^ Laube, Anthony. "LibGuides: SA Newspapers: F-L". guides.slsa.sa.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  13. ^ "Law and Criminal Courts". South Australian Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 18 March 1864. p. 3. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Law of Libel". South Australian Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 29 February 1868. p. 2. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Family Notices". The Register (Adelaide). LXXXI, (21, 630). South Australia. 7 March 1916. p. 4. Retrieved 14 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  16. ^ "Mr. Robert Henry Barnet". The Observer (Adelaide). LXXIV, (5, 662). South Australia. 8 September 1917. p. 20. Retrieved 14 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  17. ^ "Roseworthy Old Boys". The Mail (Adelaide). 12 (605). South Australia. 22 December 1923. p. 5. Retrieved 2 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  18. ^ "The Late Mr. F. L. Barnet". The Bunyip (4, 753). South Australia. 28 March 1941. p. 4. Retrieved 14 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
  19. ^ "SA Newspapers: The Bunyip". State Library of South Australia. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  20. ^ Rob McLean (16 July 2014). "The Bunyip farewells a legend". The Bunyip. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  21. ^ "Concerning People". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 28 September 1910. p. 6. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  22. ^ "Barossa Mining News". Bunyip. Gawler, SA: National Library of Australia. 9 January 1874. p. 2. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  23. ^ "Topics of the Day". The South Australian Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 8 March 1869. p. 2. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  24. ^ "Obituary". The Cairns Post. Qld.: National Library of Australia. 10 February 1932. p. 3. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  25. ^ "Our Adelaide Letter". The Border Watch. Mount Gambier, SA: National Library of Australia. 23 January 1875. p. 3. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  26. ^ "Our City Letter". Kapunda Herald. SA: National Library of Australia. 17 August 1880. p. 3. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  27. ^ "Gawler". Kapunda Herald. SA: National Library of Australia. 2 November 1880. p. 3. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  28. ^ "Mrs. J. M. Congreve". The Chronicle. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 27 December 1934. p. 14. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  29. ^ "A Versatile Octogenarian". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 31 March 1909. p. 8. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  30. ^ "About 30 Years as Editor and Manager". The Northern Argus. Clare, SA: National Library of Australia. 9 May 1946. p. 1. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  31. ^ "The Bunyip : April 18th 2018, Page 1". bunyip.realviewdigital.com. Retrieved 2018-04-21.

External linksEdit