For 80 years, the Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser recorded local and overseas news, social, sporting and business activities, and photographs of the area we now know as the Sunshine Coast.
The first Chronicle was issued by its proprietor and editor, Luke Wilkinson, on July 31, 1903. It was printed in a small weatherboard building in Currie Street, Nambour and later a shift was made to the northern end of the street.
Staff initially included Luke Wilkinson (the proprietor–editor), a compositor and two juniors. The paper was produced by hand, so the task of type composition and printing the few hundred copies was very demanding and labour intensive.
Over the years the paper changed hands on a number of occasions - partnerships were formed and disbanded between Luke Wilkinson and Albert A McFadden and then between McFadden and Alexander W Thynne.
In 1923 McFadden bought Thynne’s share and his three sons became active in running the Chronicle. In 1964 the McFadden family sold the paper to the Toowoomba Newspaper Company.
As the district grew, so did the Chronicle and the number of the paper’s staff. By the 1960s new premises had to be found and in 1966 the paper moved to a new building in Price Street, Nambour. The business acquired a Buhler Duplex press capable of printing 5000 copies per hour. Colour could also be used on certain pages.
In the same year the paper became a bi-weekly, published on Tuesday and Thursday. By 1968 it was the biggest bi-weekly paper in Queensland and by 1971 it was distributed from Pomona in the north, to Glass House Mountains in the south and west to Kenilworth.
The growth in the tourist industry also gave the Chronicle the opportunity to publicise the district to the friends of holiday makers. By 1971 its circulation was well over 12,000 copies with many copies finding their way to southern homes.
The last issue of the Chronicle was published on September 1, 1983, by which time the Sunshine Coast Daily had taken its place.
On November 27, 2006 a digital version of the Chronicle was launched. It was the first Australian newspaper to be digitised and as such, it continues to serve an important function for researchers, historians and those interested in the history, development and people of the Sunshine Coast.
Any articles from 1903 to 1958 can be accessed electronically from the Nambour Chronicle website or via the National Library of Australia’s Trove. Articles from 1903 to 1983 can be accessed at Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library, Nambour.
Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the words.