How timely it was that at our very first meeting for the year our guest speaker be the editor of the Mudgee Guardian, Honor Elliott. Honor has been in the job for over 12 months now and comes to us with a wealth of experience. Along with husband, Tom, Honor has recently purchased a 45 acre block and declares Mudgee as “home”. “I have fallen in love with Mudgee and would never consider going back to the city” Honor declared to the 23 people in attendance.
We were all expecting a folksy, feel-good talk about the history of the Guardian, its foray into the digital era and how supportive the paper is of the local community. How wrong we were.
Honor’s presentation could only be described as truly professional and forthright. No notes, no holds bar, no sugar coating, just a passion for the Guardian and her new community. Honor explained that the first edition of the Mudgee Guardian hit the streets in 1890 and has seen many owners over the past 128 years with Fairfax Media being the current owner. No one could think of any other local business that has survived that length of time.
Unfortunately, the glory days for most newspapers seem to be now fading into history. Honor pulled no punches in relating the current position of our beloved Mudgee Guardian. “We are very lucky to have a super dedicated staff of six who front up every day and give 110 per cent to keep our ship afloat,” Honor said.
It was about now that everyone was hanging on every word and looking for a silver lining. Honor’s response was simple.
“We can only do so much, in the end it is up to the community and businesses to come out and take ownership of this fantastic community asset by being involved. We have a wonderful product to sell with two papers a week, a circulation of over 4,000 units and world class digital exposure,” Honor explained.
With the hard facts now before us, many questions followed only to manifest into an awareness that the future of the Mudgee Guardian is very much in our hands.
It was great to see such a great turnout. We had three new prospective members in attendance. Remember, Rotary is all about giving back and supporting our local community and having fun doing so. We meet every Tuesday evening at the Golf Club, have a meal, do a bit of business and enjoy a presentation from our guest speaker. It’s simple and fun.