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Publication History

For 80 years the “Nambour Chronicle & North Coast Advertiser” recorded and photographed local news, social, sporting and business activities, and presented local opinions and notices for the area we now know as the Sunshine Coast (formerly the “North Coast”).

The first “Chronicle” was issued by its proprietor and editor, Luke Wilkinson, on 31 July 1903.

It was printed in a small weatherboard building in Nambour, on the corner of Howard and Currie Streets. Later a shift was made to the northern end of Currie Street.

Nambour Chronicle Office
Nambour Chronicle office, Currie Street, Nambour, ca 1932

Staff included Luke Wilkinson (the proprietor-editor), a compositor and two juniors.

Plant was a small hand printing press for job printing, a limited amount of job and news type and a Wharfdale press on which the “Chronicle” was printed. The only motive power was by hand and the few hundred copies involved burdensome labour at the handle. One of the general handymen about town came on printing days to turn the press.

In 18 months of establishment, Wilkinson took on A.A. McFadden, from Gympie, as partner. 18 months later, McFadden bought Wilkinson’s share and took another partner, A.W. Thynne, who was then the only practising solicitor in Nambour. Their partnership continued for 10 years. They were very active in the inauguration of the Queensland Country Press, of which Thynne was an early President.

McFadden bought Thynne’s share and his three sons – Cecil, Victor and Bert, became active in running the Chronicle. McFadden Snr died in that year.

Currie Street, Nambour around 1932
Currie Street, Nambour, ca 1932

The Chronicle was acquired by a private company trading as McFadden & Sons Pty Ltd

McFadden family sold the paper to the Toowoomba Newspaper Company Pty. New company altered the name to Nambour Newspaper Company Pty Ltd. The paper grew with the district and new premises had to be found.

Moved to premises in Price Street. The heart of the paper was now the 15-ton Buhler Duplex press, manufactured in Switzerland and capable of printing 5000 copies per hour. Colour could also be used on certain pages. Became a bi-weekly, published on Tuesday & Thursday. By 1968, it was the biggest bi-weekly paper in Queensland

Distribution was over an area of 1208 sq miles, from Pomona in the north, to Glasshouse in the south, west to Kenilworth.

Audited paid circulation was now well over 12,000 copies each week. At the same time, the expanding tourist industry had given the Chronicle the opportunity to publicise the district to the friends of holidaymakers, and many copies found their way to southern homes.

Staff had steadily been increased. In 1966, when it moved to the Price Street premises, there were 27 on staff. By 1973 it numbered 43.

On several occasions, the Chronicle won the coveted Bowater Award for country newspapers, and in 1971 it received the Bank of NSW Award for journalism.

1974 - Computerised photosetting equipment installed

1980 - Last Tuesday issue

1983 - Last issue

By then its place had been taken by the “Sunshine Coast Daily”, whose proprietors had bought out the “Chronicle” in 1980. Over the years several attempts were made to restart the “Nambour Chronicle” – the last one ran for some years, but then changed its name to “Nambour Weekly”.

The original “Chronicle” is still serving an important function in that it had collected facts of tremendous value to the researcher and historian interested in the history, development and people of the Sunshine Coast.

We sincerely hope that you find this site an invaluable aid to research or maybe you will delight in the history this newspaper covered. Whatever your purpose - please enjoy!

© Nambour Chronicle 2009

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