BACK IN '78: A scene at the Community Centre when school vacation activity courses were conducted by the National Fitness Council. Pictured is Kim Duffey getting some help from one of the assistants, Kim Sferco.
BACK IN '78: A scene at the Community Centre when school vacation activity courses were conducted by the National Fitness Council. Pictured is Kim Duffey getting some help from one of the assistants, Kim Sferco. Crystal Jones

Your paper was a little different in the 1970s

BUNDABERG was a different world 39 years ago and NewsMails were a little different back then too.

Looking back at some old editions found under flooring in a Bundaberg home it's easy to spot the things that have changed.

For one, the "News-Mail" had a hyphen and you were more likely to see international and national news on the front page.

While content is largely local in today's editions, one front page from August 28, 1978, features nothing local at all.

The lead photo, of the world's first test tube baby Louise Brown, takes up half the page, along with a story.

Some old NewsMail from the late 1970s.
Some old NewsMail from the late 1970s.

The rest of the paper's front page is dedicated to a long story on a dispute between Telecom and the unions and another long story regarding Pope John Paul I.

The editor's daily editorial was somewhat of a novel at about five times the size of today's.

Local news took up only two or three pages at the start of the book, with community snippets and social photos the main focus.

A typical Monday paper only took up 24 pages. In contrast, a recent Monday NewsMail was 44 pages.

While you'll find your TV guide and puzzles up the back of the book nowadays, in the 1970s editions page 4 contained a TV and radio guide, letters to the editor, news snippets, post office information, a church thought and a crossword.

The church thought for the August 28 edition? "Employ life and you will enjoy life".

Back then, letters were as outspoken as ever.

One letter writer, calling themselves "turned off", wrote in to say that married women who were working should stay home and stop taking young people's jobs.

The writer claimed the downfall of the economy could be blamed on women, working because they were too "bored" with their home duties.

It was the year of Bundaberg's second annual Oktoberfest celebration held by Klub Europa, with the naming of the Oktoberfest Queen at the end.

Among the national news included in the papers was coverage of arrests in Sydney.

Seventy-five people were arrested for marching after a gay rights conference.



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