Jenny calling it a day

By Robert Muir

By Robert Muir

When Jenny Doody began at The Free Press 30 years ago, everything was written by hand and faxed through to the Yarrawonga Chronicle.

“We use computers for almost everything now,” the face of The Free Press in Corowa for all those years, Jenny Doody, said as her retirement on Friday, June 28 fast approaches.

“In the beginning there were only two on the staff, manager/advertising consultant and receptionist, then we employed a full-time journalist probably 23 years ago.

“Pam Marriott was our very first full-time journalist at the Corowa Free Press. Before Pam arrived we relied mainly on submitted editorial, and we also had local people here and in the Rutherglen area who submitted stories to the paper.

“Journalists from the Yarrawonga Chronicle came over here to cover major stories. Now we have a full-time journalist and an advertising consultant.”

For the first few years Jenny worked casual/part-time. But she has been full-time for about 26 years, until last year “when I cut my hours back to 24 a week, transitioning into retirement!”. 

Administration duties, receptionist work, preparing classified advertisements, undertaking commercial printing, answering telephones – Jenny handled it all and in a most capable manner.

“You get to meet some interesting people when you work in the newspaper industry; some have amazing stories to tell,” she said.

“I have loved my job; on the most part the people who I have worked with have been great. The regular clients throughout the years have become friends.

“I also thank the Loughnan family who have been supportive of me over the years, from Noel and Pat, Aaron and now Jared, a fellow North Melbourne supporter.”

Jenny said she has worked with “some amazing people”, including journalists who have moved on to bigger newspapers, or have used the training they received to specialize in other forms of media.

“Also the advertising consultants,” she said. “In this position you need to work well together to get the paper out on time and if you don’t have a good working relationship then the paper suffers.”

With Jenny’s departure from The Free Press, there will be some regrets. “I will miss working with Dale (Pegg), we have had a really good relationship both personally and professionally over the years. She keeps coming back!” Jenny said.

“I will miss the people who call in to get a paper or photocopying done and stay for a chat.

“I will also miss the people I work with from both offices, Rhys (Williams) our new journalist who is fitting in very well, the girls in the Yarra office.”

Dale said it has been a privilege working alongside Jenny. “Her wealth of knowledge has helped me navigate my job role and the friendship we’ve built throughout our time together has been a true highlight for me.

“I wish her all the best in her retirement, but I’ve requested that she pop into visit daily, because her presence here will be sorely missed.”

Managing Director Jared Loughnan said Jenny will be missed by all, both staff and clients.

“Jenny has been a tremendous asset to the Free Press.  She has overseen a lot of change in her time and guided many young journalists and advertising reps.

“We have been extremely lucky and grateful to have had Jenny in the Corowa office.  Her professionalism, lovely nature and loyalty to the business has been outstanding and we wish her all the best in her retirement,” Jared said. 

Former journalist with The Free Press Jason Marks remarked: “You won’t find a person who knows and loves Corowa more than Jenny Doody, she is an amazing person who puts others before herself every time.

“I was lucky enough to work alongside Jenny for a few years at the Free Press, and I loved the many chats we’d share over a coffee at the front desk. I loved talking Roos, holidays, (shared) birthdays and life with Jenny - the front desk will never be the same!

“Jenny and (husband) John deserve the best, and I hope she can put their feet up, spend more time in Noosa and chase after the grandkids as much as she pleases.” 

Local businessman and record-serving mayor of the former Corowa Shire Council, Gary Poidevin, commented: ‘’Jenny’s polite and lovely nature over all those years will be missed.

“No matter what your request was, Jenny was always eager and helpful to assist you.”

Corowa identity Pat Brody described Jenny as “a wonderful, warm person”. “Nothing much fazes her. She’s so easy to talk to, she’s been a great asset to the Free Press.”   

Jenny and John moved from Bendigo to Corowa in 1981 as a result of John’s appointment as manager of the old CBC Bank.

“We liked the town and people so much we decided to stay,” Jenny, who had attended Beaufort High School, said. 

“Corowa has changed a lot over the last 30 years. We have everything we need in our little town, you don’t need to travel out of town anymore, it’s all here.

“We have seven grandchildren and one great grandson, so we will be able to help out a bit more during school holidays both here and in Sydney.” 

Pottering around the house and garden, walking and reading are among the retiring 66-year-old’s other favourite pastimes.  

Jenny very much deserves extra time to attend to those favourite non-office related, tasks.