Historian Paulette Flint has been an Observer columnist since 1994, sharing stories of Times Gone By with readers
Historian Paulette Flint has been an Observer columnist since 1994, sharing stories of Times Gone By with readers

Historian reflects on 25 years of columns

SINCE 1994, Gladstone historian Paulette Flint has shared the town's history with The Observer's readers.

She started with her first column Down Memory Lane, writing about the street names of Gladstone, before adding to her repertoire with Times Gone By, reflecting on key events in the town's history.

Ms Flint's mother scrapbooked early editions of the columns, providing her with a personal trip down memory lane 25 years on.

Historian Paulette Flint’s first Times Gone By column in 1994.
Historian Paulette Flint’s first Times Gone By column in 1994.

Through the years, Ms Flint has catalogued the trends and changes across the last century.

"What I found interesting, and what a lot of other people found interesting, was the change in language through the years," Ms Flint said.

"The different language was very flowery and descriptive in the early 1900s and you could see the change as you went through the decades."

One thing people liked about the columns was when Ms Flint put the fancy dress balls at local schools.

"I'd find notable citizens and what they wore when they were eight or nine, like Peter Corones, former mayor," she said.

"And Bryan Jordan … he went as a raven, which I thought was quite interesting."

Paulette Flint's first profile shot for her columns, taken in 1994.
Paulette Flint's first profile shot for her columns, taken in 1994.

Even though she's written about decades of local history, Ms Flint said her favourite era was still her own - the 1950s and '60s.

"I know my friends used to say to me 'don't write about us Paulette because it's not history' but they've changed their tune now," she said.

"When I started, they said it wasn't history. It wasn't history then but it is now and they like it when I write about them."

Having written about the dance halls, picture theatres and cafes that were prominent  in Gladstone's early days, Ms Flint has been working on a new book about cafes in Gladstone from 1900 to 1970, which is nearly finished.

While it's the end of an era for Ms Flint and her columns in The Observer, she will continue to share the town's history via her Facebook page.

 

The Observer will go on telling people's stories as it progresses to its digital future this month but as we pause to mark the transition of the print era in the Gladstone region to our sister titles The Courier-Mail and Sunday Mail, we are taking a look back in time and seeking out readers' special memories.

We want to hear your memories of The Observer and share them with our readers - in the paper and online.

Email the details and photos to us at newsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au or phone 4970 3030.

Online, we are also ramping things up.

We're offering free digital access for two months, or for those who sign up for a 12-month digital subscription, we're offering an eight-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab A. That's more than $500 value for $7 a week over the first 12 months (minimum cost $364).

Just go to www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/subscribe.



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