Beaudesert Times

In 1908 cricketing legend Don Bradman was born, Canberra was chosen as Australia’s capital and the Beaudesert Times rolled off the presses for the first time on October 10.

It was born after a merger of two newspapers, The Beaudesert Despatch and Logan and Albert Leader in Brisbane Street, Beaudesert and The Beaudesert Herald.

Irish-born politician Patrick James Leahy held the controlling interest in the new paper.

Part owner of the Despatch, John Adamson Walker, became manager of the new paper and his partner F. Parker was editor. Mr Parker left shortly after and Mr Walker became managing editor.

On November 22, 1922 Mr Leahy’s company accountant and manager of the newspaper division, Frank Hodgson, co-wrote an editorial for the paper signifying his first foray into the print media.

Mr Leahy died in 1927 and his estate gradually sold the newspapers. Mr Hodgson bought Mr Leahy’s interest in the Beaudesert Times in February 1930 and became the controlling shareholder and later the sole owner.

He died in October 1948, aged 59, and his son Roy, 21, became managing director.

Roy’s son Mark joined the business as a 16-year-old in 1971. At 22 years of age he took over the role of managing director when his father died in October 1976.

The first edition of the Beaudesert Times cost threepence and it announced the merger of the two papers.

The company promised to devote more space to local news and its circulation rose to 1000 copies a week.

Stories from correspondents, movie news, sport and humour were gradually introduced and sections such as Women’s Realm included.

In 1951 the paper had its first price increase in 43 years when it rose from threepence to fourpence.

It changed from a broadsheet to a tabloid in 1959. It sparked such interest that the first edition was 22 pages, up from an expected 16.

Throughout the 1960s the paper modernised and in 1963 it moved two doors into the School of Arts building.

In March 1967 the paper changed its name to the Logan and Albert Times to give the paper “a greater significance”. With the new name the paper reshaped its format.

The masthead returned to the Beaudesert Times in 1985 when the Southern Times, which ceased publication after nine months, was launched in the northern end of the Beaudesert Shire and Browns Plains.

In 2012, Beaudesert Times joined the Fairfax Regional Media stable. It continues to play an integral role as the leading media outlet in the Scenic Rim community.

Historical facts

  • The first edition of the Beaudesert Times was printed on October 10, 1908.
  • The Beaudesert Times was printed in-house from 2001 on the Goss Community four-unit web offset press.
  • The Jimboomba Times was first printed on Thursday, November 14, 1991.
  • In 1992 the Beaudesert Times was presented with a Pacific Area Newspapers Publishers’ Association (PANPA) Award for Production Excellence.
  • The Beaudesert Times was selected to be on the cover of the 1993 Beaudesert and Districts phone book. The William Street building was photographed to celebrate the Telecom theme recognising international achievers.
  • In 2002 the Beaudesert Times was a finalist in the PANPA Newspaper of the Year for a non-daily up to 6000 circulation.
  • The Jimboomba Times office at Jimboomba shopping centre opened in 1999.
  • In 2003 the Beaudesert Times won a total of seven major awards at the annual Queensland Country Press Association awards.

Expansion into Jimboomba

IN 1991 The Beaudesert Times made its first successful expansion. It was in October of that year that then managing director Mark Hodgson called a meeting of all staff and issued a challenge to come back with ideas on how the company could strengthen its position in the Jimboomba area.

General manager John Bartlett rose to the challenge. He produced a mock-up version of a quarter-fold newspaper and called it Jimboomba Times.

The first issue rolled off the press on Thursday, November 14, 1991. It was 36 pages with green spot colour on six and was circulated from Cedar Grove to Maclean Bridge.

It was also printed in-house on the Heidelberg MO two-colour press.

At the beginning of 1992, a decision was made to change the publication day to Friday and the first edition for that year came out on January 10.

Beaudesert Times advertising reps Rob Brown and David Eichmann initially sold space in the Jimboomba Times but to cope with the ever-increasing workload Alan Bruce was hired as the paper’s advertising manager in August 1992.

In September that year the circulation area was extended to include Logan Village. In May 1993 it further increased with bulk deliveries to Park Ridge, Greenbank and Browns Plains.

Against staunch competition from other well-established newspapers in the area, the Jimboomba Times continued to attract more advertising and in October 1993 had its first 52-page edition.

The paper has gone from strength to strength. In 1997 it changed its publication day from Friday to Wednesday to capitalise on advertising revenue from stage four of the Jimboomba Shopping Centre development and the opening of the Woolworths supermarket.

Earlier that year it had become a weekly publication which allowed the paper to introduce new features including a television guide.

Circulation was again expanded to 10,000 taking in Greenbank, Chambers Flat, Buccan and part of Tamborine Village.

The paper had quickly outgrown its home base in Beaudesert and an office was set up at Jimboomba Shopping Centre in 1999.

By the end of that year circulation had again increased to 11,000 copies a week and most editions were 48-56 pages.

The company had purchased another press – a Goss Community four-unit web offset press – and the Jimboomba Times was the first to roll through in February 2000.

Despite an economic downturn, the paper turned the odds in its favour and its circulation and page size kept expanding.

In 2001 it hit the 12,000-circulation mark.

In 2011, the Jimboomba Times office moved from Jimboomba Shopping Centre to the newly-constructed Jimboomba Convenience Centre.

The move was brought about due to plans by Stockland, owners of Jimboomba Shopping Centre, to redevelop the existing centre.

Today the Jimboomba Times goes out to more than 20,000 homes and businesses from Jimboomba to Cedar Grove, Cedar Vale, Flagstone, Tamborine, Logan Village, Buccan, Park Ridge, Teviot, New Beith, Greenbank, Spring Mountain, Maclean, Munruben, Chambers Flat, Reimore Downs, Mundoolun Estate, Collins Estate, Echo Valley and Munruben Woods.