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Alexandra’s first newspaper was the Otago Central Leader, which ran for a short time in the early 1880s. However, the town’s first long-term effort was the Alexandra Herald and Central Otago Gazette, a weekly newspaper which began publication in 1896. The first few years of the Herald have unfortunately not survived and the exact date of the first issue is unclear. It was probably published in the latter part of May 1896, as the Tuapeka Times from nearby Lawrence reported on 30 May 1896 that it had received the first issue of the Herald, which it described as being ‘creditably brought out’. The Herald was established by Henry Symes, the Town Clerk and later Mayor of Alexandra, with plant that had been used to produce the Teviot Herald and Roxburgh District Gazette.

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