Mementos celebrate Herald family ties

Readers share photos and memories

Last updated 14:51 17/06/2014

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The Timaru Herald's 150th celebrations last week prompted people to dig into cupboards and drawers to retrieve photographs and other memorabilia relating to the newspaper.

Today we share some of those offerings.

Former staff member David Darling brought in some photographs and other memorabilia from his time at the Herald.

Darling was issued his Certificate of Due Completion of Apprenticeship for letterpress machining in 1959. The certificates were awarded for five or more years of continuous employment in the industry.

Dawn Parfitt's family has had a long association with The Timaru Herald.  She offered a selection of publications, photographs and memorabilia including a photo of brother and sister Jim and Nellie Parfitt, who retired from delivering papers in 1976 after "a lifetime of outstanding service".

A black and white photo shows Timaru man Ernest Sylvester Gibb (Sylver), who was just 23 when he purchased a paper round for 800 houses from The Timaru Herald in 1936. The round cost him $500, and he had to borrow the money. He sold the round in 1939 when he joined the army, but on his return in 1945, he bought it back and ran it until 1950.

Sylver would rise at 3am to roll up the papers and deliver them between 4am and 5am. To make it easier to throw newspapers from the car he removed the passenger door.

Meanwhile Alan McKenzie pointed us in the right direction for a particularly clever letter to the editor, published just a few years after the newspaper began.

JUNE 19, 1882

The member for Timaru

Sir

Your pithy summing up of the character of our member in your epigrammatic Latin quotation in this morning's paper tickled my fancy immensely, and I am sure that no leader you could have written on the subject would have been so telling; but I think it a pity that you did not give the translation for the benefit of your readers. I am not a Latin scholar, but better versed in the language of the Gael, but believe that ''Out of nothing nothing comes'' very nearly hits the nail on the head, and it is almost identical with our Erse proverb (which is known almost as well as the Latin), ''S'sana si dlareh, ehtfo rotide eht'' - ''The brawling brook turns no mills''. And to say that he represents the public opinion of any but the smallest section of the community is a libel on our understanding.

I AM, ETC

Bussih Siosdna

JUNE 20, 1882

There was great fun in town yesterday over a practical joke which had been played off on the too-confiding editorial staff of this paper. On Saturday we received a letter for publication in our correspondence column, which, as far as we could judge, was certified by the genuine signature and address of a respectable resident, and contained nothing improper. We therefore, published it without alteration or, indeed, without any minute examination at all. The letter contained what purported to be an Erse proverb, and the nom de plume at the foot also ran apparently in that ancient language; and as no one on our staff happens to be familiar with the Erse, the letter duly appeared as it was written.

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It son became known, however, that the letter was a hoax and that the Herald had been deliberately ''had''. The pretend Erse proverb and signature proved on a simple rearrangement of the letters to be very plain English, and to convey an allusion personal, and far from complimentary, to the Editor and sub editor of this journal. The joke speedily got abroad and there was quite a rush for the paper, the whole impression being disposed of at an early hour, greatly to the benefit of our exchequer.

If we had only got the cue in time, we would have printed off a larger issue and done still better out of it. The hoax itself was of a most harmless nature, and rather clever besides, all except the false signature and address. That, of course, was bad, because forgery, even without any criminal intention, is always low, and indicative of a very dangerous tendency of mind. It also has this evil result. It throws suspicion on innocent people, and causes ill feeling and distrust.

Apart from this, the joke was certainly a good one. We were immediately amused, on showing the letter to a friend of ours who specially plumes himself on his familiarity with Erse, to hear him trying to spell out the ''proverb'' or make some sort of meaning of it. He gave it up as a bad job at last, and declared that the printers must have muddled it up somehow. The signature, however, he pronounced to be genuine Erse, the name of some mythical personage, and it was only on our exploding at this display of learning on his part, that he began to smell a rat. Every paper is liable to be taken in sometimes, and in this case, we are only thankful that it was no worse.

(Abridged)

- The Timaru Herald

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