The Bunyip was first published in 1863. E H Coombe in his History of Gawler 1837-1908 claimed that it was the first provincial newspaper in South Australia.
It was a collaboration between William Barnet, manager and printer, and the Humbug Society with George Nott as the first editor.
The first issue was full of biting satire and tongue-in-cheek commentary and it sold out as soon as it was published. Originally appearing as a monthly pamphlet, it became so popular that is was not long before it was published as a bi-monthly broadsheet and then a year or so later as a weekly publication.
Why was it called The Bunyip?
In the first edition which was published on 5 September 1863, the following explanation was given: “Because the Bunyip is the true type of Australian Humbug! Go where you will in Australia, the poor benighted blackfellow, if he wished to astonish you with unheard marvels, or strike you with supreme terror raises before you the shadow of the mysterious Bunyip – ever near – ever promising to appear – but ever eluding sight and grasp – true type of Humbug!”
With the passage of time, The Bunyip became less satirical and more of an orthodox newspaper which reported on events and opinions but initially it was solely a vehicle of the satire and wit which were the trademark of the Humbug Society.
As a result of the publication of material which Dr William Popham claimed made him the subject of contempt and ridicule, the owner was threatened with an action for libel.
A full account of the Popham V. Barnet” court hearing, which was described as “vastly entertaining”, can be read in The Bunyip of Saturday April 2, 1864.
Photograph: Mr Dennis Gill at the Linotype Keyboard in earlier days. Dennis was indentured to hand and machine composing.
Early development …
The story and development of the Yorke Peninsula Country Times over the last 140 years follows a web of newspapers threaded together since the first Yorke Peninsula newspaper appeared as the Wallaroo Times and Mining Journal in 1865.
This first paper was the product of Andrew and David Taylor, who came to Australia from Invercargill, New Zealand, in the same year.
This paper flourished at Elizabeth Street, Wallaroo, until in 1888, due to pressure by Kadina traders, the establishment moved the business to Taylor Street, Kadina.
It has been based in this building ever since.
The paper was then called the Kadina and Wallaroo Times in deference to the gentlemen traders who probably suggested that they would withdraw patronage if this did not occur.
In 1891 Andrew died, and David continued until his death when Mrs Furner-Taylor headed the business.
In 1910 Andrew’s son, William F Taylor and James H Pengelley, both of Kadina, entered into a partnership which lasted for 25 years until 1935 when Mr Pengelley died.
His son Fred then became a partner.
When William Taylor died in 1945, Fred took control, with Mrs Agnes Taylor maintaining a financial interest until 1962, when the family finally relinquished a 92 year connection with the “Times”.
During these years the Times suffered competition from two other papers, the Plains Dealer and its offshoot the Copper Age, produced by John Southwood and George Spring who found it hard going during the depression years.
Fred Pengelley’s long association with the newspaper ended in 1963 when Moonta newspaper proprietors, C.J.G and T.F. Ellis, who ran the People’s Weekly, purchased the Kadina business.
The Ellises continued to print both newspapers (one in each town) until 1966, when the Moonta paper was incorporated in the Times to become the Kadina, Wallaroo and Moonta Times.
Two years later a further change took place when The South Australian Farmer, another Kadina-based newspaper, owned by Mr and Mrs H.W. Tossell of Adelaide, merged with the Times.
As a result the newspaper was named the Yorke Peninsula Country Times, with the first edition on September 4, 1968.
In 1970 the publishers purchased the rights to the S.Y.P. News Pictorial, published in Yorketown, which was an amalgamation of the Maitland Watch and the S.Y.P. Pioneer.
The Times Today …
The Ellis family still own the Yorke Peninsula Country Times. Michael Ellis is the Manager.
From that first issue in 1968 the Yorke Peninsula Country Times has gone from strength to strength.
Rod Parham and Luke Heffernan enjoying some quality time in Light Square after the May Day March through Adelaide.
Photograph by Candace Parham.
Luke Heffernan is a “salt of the Earth” sort of bloke, with a great sense of humour and is to be quite honest (in my humble opinion) a working class Hero.
But if someone was to ask me what I really like about Luke is his stories of his pure hatred of trips to the Dentist.
It started when as a young boy his mother took him to see an old Dentist in Adelaide that Luke describes as an “utter cruel bastard” who inflicted the young Luke with “monumental and hideous pain and enough blood” to terrify the young boy.
So much so so that for many years whenever the feelings of tooth pain entered the young bloke’s head it curiously disappeared on his way to the Dentist with his Mum.
So by the time he got to the front door of the surgery he was “cured”.
When Luke got older and the old Dentist had died, he became known in the Dentistry trade as a “dangerous patient to have”.
Why you might ask?
He would threaten each Dentist (no matter how good or nice they were) “to kick them in the nuts” if he felt the slightest pain. “You give me pain and I will give you pain,” he would say.
And you know what “IT WORKED”, says Comrade Luke Heffernan.
I guess most people realise that Australia was first populated by the Aboriginal people.
Then in the late eighteenth century the British our Imperial Overlords rocked up with their ships, diseases and rabbits.
“I say what an ‘orrible place this is, let’s populate it with the garbage from Britain”. “The poor, the Irish, union men and women, orphans, workhouse people and oh yes, some criminals”.
But not in South Australia, we are the State of the very poor free settlers that they wanted to get rid of anyway.
We came here in 1836 and started eating pie floaters soon afterwards.
What is a Pie Floater?
Some claim it is indigenous to South Australia, but I’m not so sure of that.
It is an Aussie Meat Pie, submerged in a sea of green pea soup, with the peas quite visible and topped with lashings of “dead horse” (tomato sauce) and vinegar if you so wish.
Sounds disgusting, yes, but wonderful to eat after a night on the piss in Adelaide, the city of churches.
Where did you get it? For many years Cowley’s Bakery, based at Cross Road, South Plympton would park their pie cart outside of the Adelaide General Post Office in the City at night and dispense pie floaters late into the night for drunks, shift workers, unsuspecting tourists and coppers.
A shortlived general feeling of wellbeing and happiness, perhaps a gentle vomit or two and for many hours afterwards a series of foul smelling, arse tearing, bowel burning pie floater farts.