Published Day: Thursday
Circulation (Paid): 2024
Cover Price: $1.50 GST Inc.
Address: Shop 8/35 Poynton Street, Ceduna
Postal Address: PO Box 296, Ceduna, SA 5690
Phone Number: (08) 8625 2265
Fax Number: (08) 8625 2582
Email Advertising: email@example.com
Email Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org
The West Coast Sentinel serves the growing towns of Ceduna, Streaky Bay, Elliston and Wudinna. Local industry includes agriculture, aquaculture, mining and tourism.
The paper has won several awards including the best newspaper (under 5000 circulation) at the Country Press Association of SA Inc. awards in 2003.
Established in the West Coast farming and fishing town of Streaky Bay on June 28, 1912, by C.J. Wallace, the paper’s first editorial set a political agenda and outlined a vision for the future. It noted: “….the Sentinel has now arrived, and hopes with confidence to become a fixture on the coast.”
The editorial also stated: “Given a strong policy of railway development and water conservation, it does not require a duly qualified prophet to predict that, in comparatively few years’ time, where today there are hundreds of people thousands will be distributed throughout the Promised Land of the Central State.
“And we believe that, in the present Government, the West Coast possesses staunch advocates and several men of strong individuality, who will do their best to push forward the interests of those dwelling many miles westwards of Parliament House, and in numbers of instances, working hard day and night, to carve out homes and farms in scrubland.”
The first edition of the paper was printed on sateen (cotton fabric woven like satin with a glossy surface). It was sold at auction for three pounds seven shillings and sixpence to Streaky Bay District Council chairman, Jack Speed, and the proceeds donated to the Streaky Bay Hospital.
The Sentinel office was originally situated in the W.H. Betts General Store, near the jetty at Streaky Bay. The office and printing facilities were later moved to bigger premises in Alfred Terrace where the Sentinel stayed until 1977. It was then transferred farther west to Ceduna.
A major setback to the paper occurred shortly after the launch when its founder, Mr Wallace, died suddenly. Subsequently,
the business was taken over by local MP, G.J. Moseley, and Tom Monger was managing editor until 1917 when he and printer Lew Fosdike enlisted for service in the First World War.
Chas Neale became managing editor and, in 1921, he bought the business. In 1928, Neale launched the Western Mail at Ceduna, but the Depression struck and in 1930 the paper amalgamated with the Sentinel. He remained managing editor until 1934 when he transferred to Adelaide and eventually the Times at Millicent.
In 1932, the paper was bought by pioneer pastoralist and part-owner of Chandada Station, Mr W. A. Thompson, who retained it until his death in 1952. He lived in Adelaide throughout his ownership and was never actively associated with the enterprise.
Thompson’s son, Bill, who had joined the staff in 1932, bought the business in 1952 in partnership with his wife, Jean, and continued as managing editor until it was sold to the Hill family of the Port Lincoln Times in 1968.
In 1982, Bill Thompson acknowledged changing times when he reflected on the sale to the Port Lincoln Times. “If the Sentinel was to progress with the times, it could only do so by joining in the mainstream of technological change that has taken place in the newspaper and printing industry,” he said.
In a message for the paper’s 80th anniversary Governor-General Bill Hayden said: “….country newspapers are vital in maintaining our notions of an open, liberal society.
“The West Coast Sentinel, circulating to the people of Eyre Peninsula and the West Coast of South Australia, has played a significant role in that tradition.”
The Sentinel was bought by Fairfax Media in 1990 and is one of 16 SA papers owned by the company.