FROM charity workers to athletes, politicians to medicos, religious clergy to the everyday battler, Ron McLean’s new book, The Final Curtain, has arrived at local bookshops and is already proving popular.
Sub-titled Triumph and Tragedy, Hope and Heartbreak in the Life of Gunnedah, the book has turned the lens on Gunnedah and district residents who have lived and died in the town and district over the last 150 years, detailing their role in the town and their contribution to it. It is basically a social documentary of how a small to medium-sized country town has developed and grown.
The former editor of the Namoi Valley Independent, Ron McLean, was the “heart and soul” of the newspaper for more than 30 years. He has watched the town grow and written about the many facets of community life, including “hatches, matches and dispatches” as births, marriages and deaths were known in the industry.
Over the years the man who was regarded as a master editor by his peers, has compiled his new book from his extensive newspaper files, producing literally a book of obituaries. It does not cover the lives of everyone who has lived in Gunnedah, that would be an impossibility, but it does include more than 800 “people pieces” with 680 photographs.
The beautiful hard cover book has 336 pages and 230,000 words. It has been published under the umbrella of Gunnedah and District Historical Society, which has previously published The Way We Were, Gunnedah’s Sesquicentenary (2006) and In The Line of Fire, Gunnedah’s involvement in the Great War (2014).
These two publications were also the work of Mr McLean, who is also a dedicated historian and a valued member of the historical society.
The Final Curtain is available from Second Edition Bookshop, Gunnedah Newsagency and the Gunnedah Water Tower Museum (open Saturday and Monday). The cost is $45. Postage anywhere in Australia is $15 per book or $18 for two.
Further information is available from Ron McLean on 0439 130 057 or by emailing the society at email@example.com