Royal visit enthralled
By the 1950s Albany’s reputation as a whaling hotspot was well known.
Whalers had hunted in the waters off Albany for more than 100 years by then, but the town’s growth, its port and a demand for whale products meant whaling was a profitable industry.
One year after it opened, in 1953, the Cheyne Beach Whaling Company was already harvesting 100 whales a season, which the Advertiser reported like sport.
Regular counts were published and an end-of-season hunt reported like a religious experience.
“The whaling season had come to an end … at this point the clouds parted and it was as if even fate had stepped aside to let through the sheer determination of man.
The determination to see a job well done,” it said.
Whaling was not the only news in Albany from 1948-1968, however.
During the two decades Manypeaks was cleared; Albany lost yet more men in warfare, this time in Korea; the Royals visited; the Mt Clarence memorial opened; and television came to town.
When the GSW9 channel (now GWN7) first lit up Albany screens in 1968, enthusiastic Advertiser journalists reported “top-line programmes Disneyland, Big Valley, Burke’s Law, Flipper and four big movies every week” would be coming to Albany screens.
“The news unit ... utilises a light aircraft, so it can readily be on the spot to cover important news items, bringing that day’s news to the screen the same night,” it continued.
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