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Orroroo enterprise
Title : Orroroo enterprise Orroroo enterprise
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Source : Orroroo enterprise, 15 April 1892, p. 1
Date of creation : 1892
Format : Newspaper
Catalogue record
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Description :

The Orroroo enterprise was founded by Joseph Pengelley. Pengelley had previously run the Terowie enterprise, but transferred the newspaper to the more centrally located town of Orroroo four years later. Here, re-named the Orroroo enterprise, Pengelley provided a news and advertising outlet for the small, far northern communities which lasted for almost 80 years.

Content Much of the focus of the Orroroo enterprise was on agricultural matters. The northern areas of South Australia particularly suffered during the prolonged drought of 1896-1902. During this period the Enterprise recorded the loss of stock through starvation, the work of the South Australian Farmers' Union in distributing seed wheat, and the long years of lobbying for a water scheme for the district. In later years its pages reflect the growing mechanisation of agriculture, the problems of noxious weeds and rabbit plagues, and many other issues.

Wider news, such as the activities of Jack the Ripper (25 March 1892, p. 2), the local 'Towitta tragedy' (10 January 1902, p. 3), events during the two world wars, and even the Billy Graham Crusade (30 April 1959, p. 3), received mention in the newspaper. Syndicated material was used occasionally from 1907, and included a serial story. The serial persisted, usually printed on the front page, until the last issue of the Enterprise in 1970.

Local news included reports of the activities of clubs, council meetings and local events. As in most country districts, sport played an important role. Local football, cricket, cycling, pigeon racing and shooting matches were all reported. From mid-1922 sporting news often appeared on the front page. Following the Second World War, like most country newspapers, the Enterprise took a more social tone, reporting weddings and obituaries, and establishing a 'Concerning people' column.

Advertising was originally confined to local businesses. The whole front page of the first issue was taken up by an advertisement for Judell's store and their autumn sale. From 1901 advertisements for patent medicines, agricultural machinery, and later motor cars, began to appear.

Politics Until the beginning of the First World War, the newspaper included general political comment in editorials and other articles. An editorial for the issue of 15 July 1892 (p. 2) asks, 'Should women be politicians?' In 1895 a 'model parliament' open to 'persons of either sex' was formed in the town, and the Enterprise reported, 'perhaps there is no other town in the colony in which the thirst for politics is so great as in Orroroo' (29 March 1895, p. 2). The editor did not appear to like South Australia's Labor Premier, CC Kingston, but in 1910 expressed an uncharacteristic attitude for a country newspaper,

... while we deplore the fact that the country is to be run by an irresponsible party we have the greatest admiration for the organisation of the socialists which has resulted in disaster and defeat to the confused parties. (9 April 1910, p. 2)

Photographs Photographs of local interest appear only occasionally in the newspaper. The issue of 22 March 1918 contains photographs of local politicians. In January 1920, photographs of Orroroo sports and the new hospital building appear. Again, from August to October 1924, there are photographs of local scenes, sports and people. Throughout the 1920s photographs occasionally were used in the newspaper, most often of local sportsmen. The newspaper seldom printed local illustrations after this time, apart from a special focus during the lead up to the 'Back to Orroroo' celebrations in October 1937.

Geographical coverage Although the original masthead includes the names of 16 outlying towns, reports from 'news-letter correspondents' were irregular. In practice, news reports focussed on the towns of Johnsburgh (later Johnsburg), Carrieton, Eurelia, Coomooroo, Willowie, Bendleby and Booleroo Centre. From the 1920s there was an emphasis on Peterborough news content, due to the ownership of the Enterprise being based in that town.

Ownership The newspaper passed from Joseph Pengelley to Thomas Hancock in December 1893. Hancock then sold the Enterprise to EF Marsden in 1917 (12 October 1917, p. 2). From this time the Enterprise seems to have had a business association with the Petersburgtimes. BA Clarke became manager and editor in 1919, following his return from the First World War. Clarke wrote for both the Enterprise and the Times. Although Clarke's name appears as proprietor in June 1927, by October 1920 the Orroroo enterprise was associated with the Bennett family of Peterborough, who at that time also owned the Quorn mercury and the Jamestown Star. In 1930 the name of Keith W Clarke appears on the newspaper as proprietor. From March 1931 John Bennett owned the newspaper, which continued to be run by the Bennett family until it closed in 1970.

Related names :

Clarke, B.A.

Clarke, Keith W.

Bennett, John S.

Graham, Billy, 1918-

Hancock, Thomas

Judell, L. (Leopold)

Kingston, Charles Cameron, 1850-1908

Marsden, E.F.

Pengelley, Joseph

Jamestown star (Jamestown, S. Aust.)

Petersburg times (Petersburg, S. Aust.)

Quorn mercury (Quorn, S. Aust.)

Terowie enterprise (Terowie, S. Aust.)

Coverage year : 1892
Place : Orroroo (S. Aust.)
Region : Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback
Further reading :
Parnell, Nancy. Orroroo: rendezvous of the magpie, Orroroo, S. Aust.: Orroroo Centenary Committee, 1975



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