From the archives: historic 1980s newspapers provides insight into the way we were

City of South Perth's local history librarian Anthony Styan and Bill Gleeson with some of the old newspapers. Picture: David Baylis.
City of South Perth's local history librarian Anthony Styan and Bill Gleeson with some of the old newspapers. Picture: David Baylis.

OLD newspapers donated to the South Perth library last week give a glimpse of the 1980s, including the first local trial for wheelie bins and Australia’s historic win in America’s Cup.

Former South Perth councillor Bill Gleeson has given his collection of 110 newspapers published from 1981 to 1990 to the South Perth Library catalogue.

“40 odd years ago, I decided on being an amateur historian and keep every newspaper that had every story and picture of the history of South Perth and its council,” he said.

“There seems to be a pattern, people have been complaining about the same thing over the years.

“Nothing much changed, the same stories are being written about rates, taxes and roads.”

Mr Gleeson said a memorable edition for him featured Australia II’s 1983 win on the front page of South Perth Times, as he personally knew the journalist in charge.

South Perth Times, The South Perth Community News, West Advertiser, and of course the Southern Gazette – all provided news as it used to be in South Perth.

“It was the first paper in WA to publish a story and picture of Australia II in America’s Cup,” he said.

“They had the story ready to go and they held it until Australia II went across the line so they were quite excited to be the first paper to go to print and on the streets.”

City of South Perth’s local history librarian Anthony Styan said he welcomed anyone wanting to donate historical artefacts or information on the City.

“Small community-based newspapers are a vital source of local history,” he said.

“They often reveal facets of the day-to-day life of our suburbs and cities overlooked by larger media enterprises and official records.”