Ian and Denise Pappin have owned the Stawell Newsagency for six years but the store has a rich history within the community, being a newsagent for a long time and before that a café and a dance hall.
“This is no ordinary shop,” says Denise. “It is very old and has some wonderful history to tell and many lovely memories for people.”
“When Ian was excavating some of the cellar he found a number of artefacts including confectionery tins, signs, shoes and tickets to events and much more. We put them on display in the store and it evoked a lot of storytelling in the community. Some of the stories were quite amusing, including that the hotel next door started as a brothel so we wondered whether some of the shoes found had been thrown over in a fit of passion!
“We then passed on everything we found to the Stawell Historical Society so they can be enjoyed by generations to come.”
Ian and Denise also support the community in as many ways as possible. They recently organised the Daniher’s Drive to Fight MND fundraiser. Over 12 months, they arranged activities and raffles as well as for the 200 participants to come to Stawell. The local schools were involved and the wider community came together to raise a lot of well needed funds.
They also assist many other organisations in Stawell including schools, bowls, footy athletic and ballet clubs to name a few, who are raising funds or need help in other ways.
Being located in a small town, but servicing a large area, the Stawell Newsagency has diversified over the last few years to meet the demands of customers, for example they now offer gifts and toys etc. Ian and Denise still have many customers who want their daily paper and, for National Newsagent Week, they will be making a short video to show customers how their newspaper ends up at their door – with a 3am start of sorting, wrapping and distributing.