The changing face of our town

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
The Esplanade hotel on Middleton Beach was destroyed in 2007.
Camera IconThe Esplanade hotel on Middleton Beach was destroyed in 2007.

Albany lost one of its most prominent residents in 1993, when multi-millionaire entrepreneur Paul Terry, 45, died in a helicopter crash in Hawaii.

Mr Terry had headed to Hawaii to learn to fly helicopters, allegedly for his next business venture, but was killed in a freak accident.

The loss was felt across the town, with then-editor of Albany Advertiser, Andrew Gill, writing a personalised death notice for the popular, humble businessman.

“Paul Terry fitted into the category of the (wealthy) courts in his day, yet he did not fit the mould of a multi-millionaire,” Mr Gill said.

In 1998, the City of Albany formed. Only two years later, in one of the city’s first natural disaster tests, fires ravaged the Kalgan and Mt Barker regions, destroying two homes.

That same year a different kind of flame — the Olympic torch — passed through the region to much fanfare.

“Olympic fervour swept through Albany on Sunday night and yesterday morning as the Olympic flame came to the Great Southern,” the Advertiser reported.

The Albany Wind Farm opened soon after, cementing Albany as a pioneer town of wind energy technology in WA, and in 2006 Albany-raised politician, former Advertiser journalist Alan Carpenter became premier.

The 20-year period ended on a sombre note when, in 2008, Advertiser journalists were on-site to report Middleton Beach’s Esplanade Hotel –— still much loved by locals — being demolished.

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