When Doug Sutherland drew a farm in Coleambally, he says the last thing he ever envisioned was putting together a newspaper.
However, after becoming chairman of the Coleambally Progress Association, he and secretary Lorry Jennings began to notice a pattern after meetings.
“We had a few meetings and people were coming to us and telling us how they had no central way of getting information or knowing what was going on,” he said.
I would really like to congratulate the people of Coleambally on the way they always work for the future and for the community to prosper.Doug Sutherland
“After two or three meetings on the need for us to have something, Lorry said look ‘leave it with me and I’ll see if I can get people to write articles on things of interest to them’ then we’d put it all together and see what we had.”
After having things contributed by members of the community, Mr Jennings and Mr Sutherland sat down to put everything together.
“I can remember well finishing up at two o’clock in the morning on the first night.”
With the help of a few others, the project was pulled together and published in Griffith by The Area News printing team.
It was later taken on by the same newspaper and published as part of the group, combining with Darlington Point to form the ColyPoint Observer.
“I’ve been a farmer all my life. Putting together a newspaper was never in the cards,” he said.
Mr Sutherland, who lived in Coleambally for 30 years, says the way the newspaper started is a reflection on the area’s desire to grow.
“It was started by members of the community,” he said.
“I would really like to congratulate the people of Coleambally on the way they always work for the future and for the community to prosper … They always have.”
He said much of the newspaper’s history was owed to “right hand man” Lorry Jennings.
“It really was something he worked hard on. He was my secretary and right hand man for a long time with the progress association.”