Historic newspapers come home

May 10, 2024 BY
McIvor Times Historic Newspapers Heathcote

Where they belong: Ralph Watkins and Elizabeth Murfitt with copies of the McIvor Times dating back to the 1850s, now stored at the Heathcote Museum. Photo: BRENDAN McCARTHY

HISTORIC copies of the McIvor Times dating back to the 1850s have made their way back home to Heathcote.

Previously stored at the Times News Group office in Bendigo, they have found a new home at the Heathcote McIvor Historical Museum in Herriot Street.

“A few years ago I was approached to buy the McIvor Times which was very close to becoming another victim of local news deserts,” said Warick Brown, Managing Director, Times News Group.

“It had not been printed for a few months, so I visited Heathcote and quickly discovered the passion for the 160 year old masthead.

“From there we were lucky enough to have Barbara Sungaila initially and then later Sandra James join us over the first 12 months to enhance our local content and coverage to ensure the region stayed up to date with vital news media information.

“We inherited a copy of every edition dating back to and including Vol 1. No 1. And I knew immediately they aren’t really ours.

“The history here belonged to the Heathcote and surrounds community.

“Once we were able to establish ourselves and get to this point, we felt the timing was right to reach out to the Historic Society and put the history etched in the pages of the McIvor Times masthead back into the hands of those empowered to protect it.

“Our legacy is to ensure we continue to provide a local community news service.

“By collaborating with Elizabeth Murfitt, Research Officer/Museum Curator of the Heathcote Historic Society, we are excited that some copies will find their way to the Historical Police Lockup Museum for all to discover and explore.”

Ms Murfitt and Heathcote McIvor Historical Society member Ralph Watkins collected the back copies last week.

“We are really excited,” said Ms Murfitt.

“Collecting back copies has been an ongoing project, a long time in the making and we are really glad to have them back in Heathcote.

“They are in great condition considering their age and we now have them safely stored at the museum.

“I am looking forward to sorting through them and using them for displays on special anniversaries.

“We are very grateful to Warick and the Times News Group for giving them back to the Heathcote community.”