Friday, August 19, 2011

Auckland Star in memoriam

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the last issue of the Auckland Star. At least I think it is. The ever-unreliable Wikipedia says the final issue was on 16 August 1991 but the possibly equally unreliable Facebook page of former Auckland Star journalists says it was 20 August. Let’s go for the 20th.

The dying days were extensively documented at the time in Metro and nowhere since that I know of. Is there a history anywhere of the paper and/or its brief rival the Sun?

I used to read the Star every day from February 1971, when I moved to Auckland, until its closure. It was a great newspaper, with Pat Booth running investigative features (Mr Asia, Arthur Allan Thomas etc) over weeks or months, however long it took. Warwick Roger wrote a full page every Saturday – he was the first reporter I’d come across whose byline indicated a must-read; and there were many other good writers in sports, business, you name it.

I worked there for three months as a sub-editor and feature-page designer in, I think, early 1987. Jim Tucker was editor, and Jenny Wheeler was editor of the Sunday Star with a staff of practically zero. It was an early-morning start so I would walk in half-asleep from Newmarket and get to the subs’ bench at 8:00 and open my eyes to see Carol Hirschfeld opposite giving me her dazzling smile. It was a very nice way to wake up.

Also there were Warren Berryman, Donna Chisholm, Paul Ellis, Eric Young and let’s not forget the racing sub, Julie Christie. She too has done quite well since then.


Murray Job said...

I was not at the Auckland Star the day it closed, I had left print news media by then to work in the PR industry, the 20th of August date came from Melanie Jones at the very accurate Auckland Star Facebook group.

Stephen Stratford said...

Thanks for the correction Murray - I've fixed the post to take account of it.

Trevor Coppock said...

I was at The Star from June 1973 - end Jan 1984. Great days, but not without a few hiccups along the way.
Thanks for posting an accurate closure date as for amny years when I have askedm all I have ever heard was "1996". Where some folk got that date from.........?

Mike said...

Wikipedia corrected.

I don't remember you being there, Stephen, though I do remember all the others you mention.

Bromhead at the time was shagging a 22-year-old journo. I asked her what she saw in him and she said "He's loaded, he's given me a Mercedes Benz and with a bit of luck he'll cark it."

Those were the days.