A Streaky Bay man has revealed his family is in possession of the first ever print of the West Coast Sentinel.
The first copy of the West Coast Sentinel was printed on June 26, 1912 in Streaky Bay on sateen and was sold at auction to local farmer and celebrity Jack Speed at a cost of five pounds.
Mr Speed passed the copy down to his youngest daughter, Mary Williams (nee Speed), who then passed it down to her daughter Maxine Johnson.
Today, Jack Speed’s great grandson Mark Johnson is in possession of the print, which could be considered the most important piece of history relating to the West Coast Sentinel.
Mr Johnson said he didn’t know about the significance of the print until he read about it in the Sentinel.
“Despite having it I didn’t realise my great grandfather had bought the first copy and I didn’t recognise its significance until I read about it in the Sentinel,” he said.
The copy is kept stowed away in the Johnson household, and despite its age is still in very good condition.
Mr Johnson, who is descended from one of the earliest pioneering families in the Streaky Bay area, said it’s good an important historical item like this is still around.
“It’s cool having a piece of local history like this in your possession,” he said.
“Hard to know what to do with it at the moment, whether it should stay in the family or go into the museum, because you can’t really pull it out regularly for show and tell.
“It’s also interesting to see how the paper used to be set out, compared to today’s Sentinel.”