'We'd be lost without you': Blacktown Sun editor Heloise Reece says farewell

WE THANK YOU: The Bella Vista team (back l-r) Geoff Jones, Harrison Vesey, Heath Parkes-Hupton, Isabella Lettini, Mikaela Mahony, Meg Francis, Andrew McMurtry and (front l-r) Kylie Stevens, Heloise Reece and Katrina Vo was responsible for five community newspapers in north-west Sydney.
WE THANK YOU: The Bella Vista team (back l-r) Geoff Jones, Harrison Vesey, Heath Parkes-Hupton, Isabella Lettini, Mikaela Mahony, Meg Francis, Andrew McMurtry and (front l-r) Kylie Stevens, Heloise Reece and Katrina Vo was responsible for five community newspapers in north-west Sydney.

The success of the Sun since its inception in August 1982 really comes down to the combined effort between the community and the team here at Fairfax Media.

Fairfax Australian Community Media division announced a restructure of its suburban publishing operations in western and north-west Sydney, including the closure of the Sun and five other newspapers.

So in our last edition, in the Sun’s 35th year, we say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone in the community we have had the pleasure of meeting. 

Different names have donned the masthead: it began as the Blacktown City Star - August, 1982; then became the Fairfax Sun in March, 1995; it changed to Blacktown City Sun in November, 1998; and the Blacktown Sun in November, 2006.

I’m at the end of a long line of caretakers – John Holden, Rachel Derham (Pagitz), William Verity, Albert Martinez, Charles Boag, Matt Lawrence, Ros Smith, Phyllis MacGraw – to name but a few!

Matt, who arrived in 2000 at the Sun as a reporter, said it is his time at Blacktown that he will always look back on with the greatest fondness.

“They were good days, leads running hot via the traditional means … from the street, from the phones, from the ‘sources’ and of course there was the occasional email tip off.”

I knew when I became caretaker I was inheriting a passionate and engaged community, full of generous and colourful characters.

We took our job of reminding you each week about why you love living here very seriously. And it wasn’t difficult. 

Last week I spent a few hours going through the archives of the Sun. A lot of blood, sweat and tears has been poured on to those pages. 

There are many stories that we will never forget: the murder of Anita Cobby, redevelopment of Blacktown Hospital, Blacktown station upgrade, Blacktown Westpoint, the opening and closure of Australia’s Wonderland, Featherdale Wildlife Park, the M4 and the ongoing toll saga, the proposed name change of Blacktown City, Wet ‘n’ Wild opening – and the list goes on and on.  

Every week we all strived to deliver a paper that not only kept you informed, but celebrated the wonderful things going on in your neighbourhood. 

The digital world brought us closer to our readers; we could ask you directly the questions we wanted answers to and you were quick to respond.

And for this I say: thank you. Thank you for inviting us into your homes and sharing your deeply personal and inspiring stories. 

On a personal note, you’re only as good as your team, so I’d like to thank my team for delivering their absolute best each week. 

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