As Kevin Whalan’s 90th birthday approached, his daughter Susan knew exactly what to get him. Kevin, who had begun compiling his memoirs, enjoyed spinning yarns about his time as the editor of the Canowindra Star in the 1950s and 1960s and Susan was determined to see her dad hold a genuine copy of the newspaper he worked so hard on.
Having trawled through Trove and eBay, Susan tried the Cowra Guardian and the State Library with no luck. Finally, she contacted the Canowindra Historical Society where the volunteers went above and beyond and managed to locate a copy. Susan could not contain her excitement, presenting the gift to her father as soon as she got it.
“I was over the moon,” said Susan. “It was from the right era, when Dad was the editor. The Historical Society made sure it was sent to me in Kiama in time for Christmas. Dad was so happy when he saw the paper. A great surprise. So many memories flooded in.”
Kevin’s family had long settled in Canowindra, where he was raised as the youngest of eight kids. He remained in the area when he married and began his family, earning the job as editor of the Canowindra Star after beginning his career with the Cowra Guardian. Kevin excelled, single-handedly producing a hugely profitable paper.
“After Dad left, the bigwigs from the Cowra Guardian came in thinking they could make more money out of it. However, because Dad was a one-man show; he was the advertising salesman, the editor, the photographer and the distributor; they simply could not make more money,” said Kevin’s daughter, Jane Carratt.
“That is why I made so much money,” said Kevin. “I did everything.”
At 91, Kevin is not slowing down as he plans to release a book detailing the scrapes and stories from his varied life. After the Star, Kevin went on to edit the Kiama Independent, followed by the Illawarra Mercury and later, he worked for Rupert Murdoch at News Limited.