Des Parker's newspaper career spans 71 years

Des Parker's newspaper career spans 71 years


Farm Online News
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Millions of photos, books, folders and clippings would only begin to tell the story of Des Parker's career.

Millions of photos, books, folders and clippings would only begin to tell the story of Des Parker's incredible career history in newspapers.

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It all started back in 1943 delivering papers as an 11-year-old boy and today, almost 71 years later he is still a contributor for The Recorder.

With many great achievements in this time he has become an extremely well-known photographer and an asset to our community.

His fantastic work ethic originated when he was just six-years-old, getting up at 4am with his father on weekends to collect slops for their pigs.

As a paper boy his duties began at 5am and he would sell papers at the smelters gate from between 6:30am to 8am before going to school.

When he finished school at 14 he began working full time as a delivery boy and grew quite efficient at his job, rolling 18 papers in one minute.

Des tells many stories of falling out of vehicles whilst throwing papers, dropping tipsy people home and the many other adventures that come with delivering papers at all hours of the night.

 He became The Recorder’s longest serving employee, working as an advertising salesman, circulation manager, deliverer and photographer.

Des spent three months to produce the 100 years of The Recorder publication which won a Rural Press award for the best publication for the year, beating over 200 other publications.

Des is also famous for his column and in the last few years has released two books of Port Pirie history which are available at Megs Bookshop.

Outside of his work at The Recorder, Des has been heavily involved in the Solomontown Football Club, has received awards in sporting circles and has been the recipient of the Port Pirie Citizen of the Year award.

Growing up not knowing what career path to choose Des counts himself blessed to have walked through many open doors into the newspaper field.

Photography has been a huge part of his life and is something that has always fascinated him.

He currently has 30,000 negatives in his shed where he develops photos and people still ask him for photos from years ago. 

There would not be many houses in Port Pirie without a photo that Des has taken in it after attending thousands of weddings, parties and other social events.

However, there have been many sacrifices through his work commitments.

Des didn’t spend a whole Saturday night out with his wife for 25 years, he missed out on a lot of social life and found it disappointing to not be with his children on Saturday mornings.

Although this was the sad reality, Des has been places and seen sights that everyday folk would never get the chance to.

Des said the highlight of his career has been meeting people from all walks of life.

The secret to his success was keeping his mothers words close to his heart, which were, “You’re no better than anyone else and they are no better than you.”

“If you treat everyone on the same footing, you can’t go astray,” Des said.

Another saying that helped Des gain his multitudes of friends and a great social status in our community were the words of his wife, “It doesn’t cost anything to smile and say g’day.”

With no intention of moving Des will always have a place in his heart for the people of Port Pirie.

Through all of the struggles in his life he has found the love, care and support of the people in this community to be absolutely fantastic. 

Des Parker's career in newspapers has spanned 71 years and he is now a much-loved contributor for The Recorder.

Des Parker's career in newspapers has spanned 71 years and he is now a much-loved contributor for The Recorder.

The story Des Parker's newspaper career spans 71 years first appeared on The Recorder.

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