HORSHAM’S Jo Johns has read the Mail-Times for almost as long as the paper has existed.
Mrs Johns started reading the paper when she moved to Horsham from England with her husband – the late Don Johns – and two of their children 51 years ago.
Mr and Mrs Johns met when Mr Johns traveled to England for a working holiday with friends after he finished his pharmacy apprenticeship in Horsham.
The family later bought the pharmacy after returning to Australia and had four more children.
Mrs Johns has watched as the paper’s pages have turned from black and white, to a mix of black and white and colour, to full colour.
She remembers many of the large-scale events the paper has covered over the years.
“The fires of 2009 and the floods of 2011 are definitely in my mind,” she said.
“Before that there were Grampians fires.
“One thing I remember clearly is a famous photo that Ian Ward took when they blew a tree out of the ground.
“He took the photo and the tree looked like a rocket going up out of the ground.”
Mrs Johns has enjoyed reading stories about Wimmera people. She also enjoys Man in the Corner and other human interest campaigns the masthead has run over the years.
“I recall years ago the paper did a series asking people to send in pictures of trees from all over the Wimmera,” she said.
“That went on for weeks and weeks, and people would send in stories about the trees they had at their place.”
Mrs Johns also remembers the paper’s coverage of Horsham’s sesquicentennial at the turn of the century, when then Victorian Governor Sir James Gobbo visited for the city’s 150th anniversary.
The Johns family has also featured in the Mail-Times, including during Mr Johns’ time as Horsham mayor, and for his tireless community work.
The Johns’ 50th wedding anniversary made the Mail-Times’ pages in 2012.
While Mrs Johns is an avid reader of the print product, her children enjoy reading the Mail-Times online.