Indy Kerrie Alexander with a certificate of appreciation from the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum.
Indy Kerrie Alexander with a certificate of appreciation from the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum.

Last hurrah for Indy editor

SO MANY incredible memories have been made in my 20 year career with Fraser Coast newspapers.

I am thankful I had the opportunity to work alongside some absolute legends and passionate and incredible community groups and individuals, many of whom have become lifelong friends.

I walked into the Hervey Bay Observer newsroom, on Torquay Rd back in 1999 as a fresh-faced 17-year-old.

I started as the editorial secretary, worked in administration and advertising from time to time and eventually signed on to do a journalism cadetship in 2008, under former Fraser Coast Chronicle editor Nancy Bates.

From being made to dress as Nemo and other characters on the Chronicle Whale Parade float to taking etiquette courses so I showed some class as the Chronicle Showgirl and Reef and Beef Rodeo Quest entrant many moons ago, it’s been an incredible journey.

It has been an honour for me to report on the weird, wonderful, sad and humorous tales that make the Fraser Coast so special.

There is so much emotion involved in storytelling and while some stories have made me laugh, others made me cry.

I feel proud our papers have led many successful community campaigns, from helping raise funds for Rally for a Cause to having our lunch room filled with personal care products for domestic violence victims.

Hundreds of gifts were left under the Hervey Bay Observer-Indy Christmas giving tree each year and gifts donated by staff were given to aged care homes for residents with no family.

Hundreds of dogs and cats from Hervey Bay Animal Refuge found homes after being spotted on Adopt-A-Pet each week.

This personal connection to the community I live in is what I will miss the most.

I would like to give special thanks to all my columnists who have contributed for more than a decade.

Andrew Chorley from Hervey Bay Fly and Sportfishing has been dedicated in bringing his fishing news to the community every week, having started in the Observer and following over to the Indy in 2018.

Thank you to John Andersen and Brian Taylor at the Hervey Bay Historical Village and museum for their unwavering commitment to ensuring the people of Hervey Bay know the region’s history through regular columns, the weekly Page 9 history photo, stories on events and quirky history finds and much more.

History is also in safe hands with local historian Bev Cornwell, who has lived in Hervey Bay for more than 65 years and was the founder of the highly anticipated Golden Originals get together at the RSL each year.

Bev was passionate about bringing her Way of the Old Bay column to life in these pages.

She also texts me well wishes every birthday.

I will miss chatting with co-ordinators of local events every year, volunteers who offer up their time to simply bring joy to local residents.

Many know my number and answer with, “Is it that time of year already?”

Julie Terry, who organises the RSL Carols by Candlelight and Compassionate Shoe Box project, Jo-Anne Farrell who single-handedly bought hundreds of prizes each year for the Local Ambulance Committee Christmas Wheel on Scarness stage – some of the people who have made my time with newspapers so special.

I will miss the box of choccies each Christmas from Ken Lee (aka Perigueux) – a regular contributor and our go-to for anything Z-PAC Theatre related – and Sheila Dilworth from the Hervey Bay Crafters, who would phone months out to get her Mother’s Day and Christmas Craft Fair stories ready.

I can’t name them all, but thank you to everyone who helped shape my career in some special way.

I thank my longtime colleagues for their support and guidance.

Collectively, myself and colleagues Amanda Coop, Alistair Brightman, Susie Dahl, Carlie Walker and Jessica Grewal have given more than 100 years of service to the company.

While the Chronicle is going totally digital, the contribution that each and every person has made to our print products over the years will live on in history.

A very special thank you must also go to my husband Shaun, my son Seth and the rest of my family who have given unwavering support during my career with newspapers.

Thank you all for the memories.

It’s been a blast!

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