Recently I wrote about the ‘Devonport Gazette’ newspaper, which was renamed the “North Shore Gazette’ in 1924 and ultimately ceased publication in 1948. However, the name North Shore Gazette Ltd. continued on in Devonport as a printing business and was later owned by the Weller family. In the late 1960s, Brian Giblin was part of the takeover of that business and it continued to operate as North Shore Gazette Ltd. until 1971.
The ‘North Shore Times Advertiser’ was published by Suburban Newspapers Ltd. which was owned by the ‘Auckland Star’. However, their newspaper rivals Wilson and Horton owners of the ‘New Zealand Herald’ wanted to compete for the lucrative North Shore advertising market by starting their own locally based suburban newspaper. That was to be called the ‘North Shore Gazette’.
Following the sale of the ‘North Shore Gazette’ name to Wilson and Horton, Giblin’s business was renamed Devonport Colour Printers Ltd. and later Devon Colour Printers Ltd. The latter went on to print amongst other material Paul Titchener’s seven volume ‘Beginnings’ series from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s.
At first, Community Newspapers Ltd. printed and published the ‘North Shore Gazette’ on behalf of Wilson and Horton from 24 February 1971, but from late 1972 the newspaper was published directly by Wilson and Horton. Initially the newspaper was based at 95 Wairau Road but by July 1973 it had moved to 4 Silverfield off nearby Porana Road, with the editorial and advertorial staff based there. The newspaper itself was printed by Wilson and Horton on their big rotary presses at 149 Queen Street in the city. The newspaper was delivered free of charge on Wednesdays to around 33,000 households across the North Shore, as far North as Long Bay, Albany and Greenhithe.
However, the newspaper’s mixture of local news, contributions and photographs from local people, advertisements for local businesses and small classifieds lasted only just over four years. The last issue was published on 28 May 1975 (Volume Five, Number Nineteen) and that issue noted that henceforth the ‘New Zealand Herald’ was to offer a weekly regional section featuring the North Shore. There is a full run of bound copies at Takapuna Library.
A fortnightly rival to the ‘North Shore Times Advertiser’, is of course ‘The Devonport Flagstaff’, which dates from 22 October 1992. Its sister publication ‘The Rangitoto Observer’ dates from 15 March 2019. Our own monthly ‘Channel’ dates from July 2010, and I have been the history columnist for that since early 2011.
Other recent titles that have come and gone include the ‘Albany and East Coast Bays News’ (from February 2010 to September 2011, and for which I was also its history columnist), the ‘Aucklander’ (published by the ‘New Zealand Herald’ from 18 September 2003 to 6 September 2012, and which included a ‘North’ edition before going digital) and ‘Shore News’ (from 4 September 1987 to 1993 before being succeeded by ‘North Shore Week’ from 16 June 1993 to 11 August 1994). As with the above titles, visit Takapuna Library if you wish to see copies of most of these, otherwise visit Auckland Central Library. Most are available on microfilm.
Of course, access to such newspapers is vital when learning about the history of the North Shore. My research into the history of Devonport Museum has included annual reports, newsletters and minutes from that society, but I have also found that relevant articles in copies of the ‘North Shore Times Advertiser’ and ‘Devonport Flagstaff’ are essential reading. I am also talking with those currently or formerly involved.