Lake Macquarie History

Arnold Delaney

Arnold Delaney - Founder of Lake Macquarie newspaper The Post

In 1956 Arnold Delaney, a returned serviceman, inventor and local steel worker decided to start a newspaper in the growing Lake Macquarie suburb of Charlestown. He named this four page paper The Charlestown Post and it still continues today as The Post.

Arnold Delaney came to Lake Macquarie due to circumstances that often propelled changes in his life. In 1955 the Hunter floods washed through his Singleton house and ruined his Singleton gift shop, neither of which were insured for floods. Mr Delaney and his wife Rhoda decided to pack up and start afresh and so moved to Nords Wharf. It was here they purchased a block of land for £400 and built a shed to house his family and many of his hobbies. Arnold found employment at Tubemakers (now OneSteel) and constructed steel tanks in his backyard, which he learned to do before he joined the air force. Seeking further adventure and to offset advertising of his many hobbies he decide to take out a loan and start a newspaper.

He noted that other suburbs such as Belmont and Adamstown already had a local paper so he chose the newly emerging area of Charlestown as a suitable location for his enterprise. To get the paper printed Mr Delaney negotiated with the proprietor of the Wyong Advocate to supply the print for the early issues but due to rising costs he decided to purchase his own offset printing press. With the help of Rhoda and without receiving any training or assistance with operating the press, the first edition of 6000 copies hit the streets on June 22nd, 1956.

Not all went to plan at first. The first edition was half a page short so Mr Delaney immediately wrote a story titled "Cool Justice" to fill the space. Another hurdle was the operation of the newly purchased press. Having no knowledge of its operation, he took 12 months to master the nuances of the mechanical press. There were occasionally misspellings that brought unfortunate results but Mr Delaney ultimately recognised the humorous side to many of these situations.

During Mr Delaney's time while producing The Charlestown Post he thrived on the excitement of the industry, the pressure of capturing photos and hunting for stories to meet deadlines. He participated in lunches with Miss Universe and enthusiastically answered calls in the early morning hours to uncover local incidents and accidents. Mr Delaney and his second wife Gwen eventually settled in Morisset. He has fond memories of his time in Lake Macquarie and the many experiences he had implementing The Post.