The Observer/ Zinc news headlines
SIX months ago, as a recent arrival from the Land of the Long White Cloud, I wrote an editorial suggesting that it was time the people of Gladstone were given the opportunity to shop on Sundays.
That suggestion resulted in The Observer receiving a vast number of emails in response; the majority suggesting that if I didn't like the way things were perhaps I should consider going back to NZ. And I've couched my version of the responses in very reasonable terms – which was not quite the way some of the comments arrived at the office.
Last Sunday's experience, the first time that every business in Gladstone was permitted to be open on Sundays, shows that perhaps the suggestion made in December last year wasn't far off the mark. The response from shoppers shows that the people of Gladstone are very keen to shop on Sundays, and the word we have heard is that the change made little difference to Saturday trading volumes.
As far as I was concerned, I didn't take advantage of the new option, but it was comfortable to know that we could well have gone shopping had we wanted to.
One has to wonder, however, how this change has affected the small family businesses that have been opening on Sundays for years now. Have they felt the pinch now that the big boys are able to flex their muscles for another day?
Let's hope the change doesn't spell the death knell of the small corner store, the small fruit market and butchery which we have relied on for so many years, and that have been opening on Sundays for ages. They have been providing a personal service to their customers for a long time. Long may they continue.